Bill Haley gained super-fame earlier, thanks to “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and especially “Rock Around the Clock” in the 1950s. He was super-famous all over again in the 1970s, when “Rock Around the Clock” became the official anthem of 1950s nostalgia.
Merv Griffin was actually a singer to start with — he performed with Freddy
Martin‘s orchestra in the 1940s — but his real fame came later, as a
talk show host and as the producer of the game shows Jeopardy and Wheel
of Fortune. I think you have to give Griffin the nod over Haley in terms of showbiz clout, at least.
But which will be more famous 100 years from now: “Rock Around the Clock” or the Jeopardy theme?