Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.
He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group “Buddy and Bob” with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band’s style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records.
Holly’s recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley, who had become famous for producing orchestrated country hits for stars like Patsy Cline. Unhappy with Bradley’s musical style and control in the studio, Holly went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, and recorded a demo of “That’ll Be the Day”, among other songs. Petty became the band’s manager and sent the demo to Brunswick Records, which released it as a single credited to “The Crickets”, which became the name of Holly’s band. In September 1957, as the band toured, “That’ll Be the Day” topped the US and UK singles charts. Its success was followed in October by another major hit, “Peggy Sue”.
The album Chirping Crickets, released in November 1957, reached number five on the UK Albums Chart. Holly made his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1958 and soon after, toured Australia and then the UK. In early 1959, he assembled a new band, consisting of future country music star Waylon Jennings (bass), famed session musician Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums), and embarked on a tour of the midwestern U.S. After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, he chartered an airplane to travel to his next show, in Moorhead, Minnesota. Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson in a tragedy later referred to by Don McLean as “The Day the Music Died”.
During his short career, Holly wrote and recorded songs. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. He was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of “100 Greatest Artists”. (by wikipedia)
When Buddy Holly & the Crickets broke through nationally in 1957, they were marketed by Decca Records as two different acts whose records were released on two different Decca subsidiaries — Brunswick for Crickets records, Coral for Holly records. But there was no real musical distinction between the two, except perhaps that the “Crickets” sides had more prominent backup vocals. Nevertheless, coming three months after The “Chirping” Crickets, this was the debut album credited to Buddy Holly. It featured Holly’s Top Ten single “Peggy Sue” plus several songs that have turned out to be standards: “I’m Gonna Love You Too,” “Listen to Me,” “Everyday,” “Words of Love,” and “Rave On.” The rest of the 12 tracks weren’t as distinctive, though Holly’s takes on such rock & roll hits as “Ready Teddy” and “You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care)” provide an interesting contrast with the more familiar versions by Elvis Presley. This was the final new album featuring Holly to be released during his lifetime. Every subsequent album was an archival or posthumous collection. (by William Ruhlmann)
The companion album to “The Chirping Crickets”, Buddy Holly’s lone solo album released while he was still alive (barring his pre-fame Decca singles compilation “That’ll Be the Day”) finds him stretching the boundaries of early rock with unusual-for-the-time instrumentation such as acoustic guitars and organs, and the piano is a little more prominent. This album shows its age a little more with its support tracks in comparison to his Crickets album, and is thus the slightly weaker entry in his catalog, but this album is still as influential and timeless.
Following the template established in the first album, Holly runs through twelve songs, most of them self-written with Crickets band members and manager Norman Petty. There are a few cover tunes sprinkled in, mainly songs Elvis had already done. The big single “Peggy Sue” is here, along with other standards such as “I’m Gonna Love You Too” (turn up the volume at the end, you’ll hear a real cricket singing along!), “Everyday”, “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues”, “Words of Love” and “Rave On”. The songs are just as catchy and play to Holly’s strengths both as a vocalist and a guitarist.
Like the Chirping Crickets, this album is piece of music history, and just as important. With these two albums, Holly has already left an impressive mark on popular music, and they must be included in any representative collection of early rock’n’roll. (Russell Newton)
Jerry Allison (drums)
Buddy Holly (vocals, guitar)
Joe B. Mauldin (bass)
Niki Sullivan (guitar)
Donald Arnone (guitar on 11.)
Al Caiola (guitar on 11.)
C. W. Kendall Jr. (piano on 03., 10. + 12.)
Norman Petty (organ on 03, piano on 11.)
Vi Petty (piano on 03., 05., 06. + 08., celesta on 07.)
background vocals on 11.:
William Marihe – Robert Bollinger – Robert Harter – Merrill Ostrus – Abby Hoffer
01. I’m Gonna Love You Too (Maudlin/Petty/Sullivan) 2.08
02. Peggy Sue (Allison/Petty/Holly) 2.27
03. Look At Me (Allison/Petty/Holly) 2.07
04. Listen To Me (Hardin/Petty) 2.16
05. Buddy Holly Valley Of Tears Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew Rate
06. Read Teddy (Blackwell/Calco) 1.30
07. Everyday (Hardin/Petty) 2.04
08. Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues (Roberts/Katz)Clayton) 2.46
09. Words Of Love (Holly) 1.50
10. You’re So Square (Baby I Don’t Care) (Stoller/Leiber) 1.48
11. Rave One (West/Tilghman/Petty) 1.53
12. Little Baby (Holly/Petty/Kendall Jr.) 1.55
- (coming soon)
Buddy Holly (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959)