Buddy Holly was born and raised in the flat country around Lubbock, TX. He had a band in High School and was heavily influenced by country and rhythm and blues music, but in 1955 he opened a few shows for the sky-rocketing Elvis Presley, and seeing the crowds reception to Presley’s music turned to pure Rock and Roll.
His early recordings were produced by the great country/western producer Owen Bradley in Nashville, but the records were very country and went no where. So Buddy turned to Producer Norman Petty, in Clovis, New Mexico, who had already produced hits for Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen.
Petty recorded a demo of “That’ll Be The Day,” that was released on the Brunswick label in 1957; and driven by appearances on ‘American Bandstand’ and live shows became a Number 1 hit on the American charts and was soon followed by “Peggy Sue.”
Buddy and his band, The Crickets (the name that inspired the Beatles) began a heavy schedule of touring. Then in 1953 came the light airplane crash that ended the lives of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens. An event that made the front pages of papers not only in the U.S., but elsewhere around the world.
I’ve thought a lot about Buddy over the years, wondering if he would have enjoyed a long career with fame and fortune, or faded away like so many other acts. As with the early deaths of many entertainers, his myth has grown over the years culminating in Don Mclean’s “The Day The Music Died.” This is especially true in Texas, whose fans considered him one of their own, Buddy’s music and story have attained a mythical status over the years. In fact, a Dallas Music magazine adopted the name ‘Buddy,” and has been published for many years.
What I find most interesting about Buddy Holly is the large number of hit records he was able to write and produce in just a few years, he was truly prolific and that could have been a portent of a long-lasting, legendary career. Buddy Holly was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Love to rock? Come roll with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.