Before the music died – events in Buddy Holly’s life by Shahar Haskor - Illustrated by Shahar Haskor -
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Before the music died – events in Buddy Holly’s life


Artwork: Shahar Haskor

  • Joined Dec 2020
  • Published Books 1

The first incounter

One of Buddy Holly’s first incounter to music was when he was only in seventh-grade.

In 1951 Buddy met Bob Montgomery, a fellow seventh-grader at Hutchinson Jr. High, who also played guitar and sang country songs.

Bob Montgomery which was an American singer, songwriter, record producer and publisher.

Montgomery’s taste in music ran to country music, especially Hank Williams, and Montgomery would be a major influence over Buddy’s choice of music. Billing themselves as “Buddy and Bob” they played junior high assemblies and local radio shows. Their sets were basically country, beefed up by harmonies and their own guitar accompaniment. Buddy and Bob became Lubbock’s leading performers. They soon added Larry Welborn to play bass.


Buddy Holly Sees Elvis Perform

Elvis Presley (Singer & Cultural Icon) - On This Day

It is no secret that Buddy was influenced the greatest.

In January of 1955 Holly saw Elvis Presley perform in Lubbock.

Holly saw Elvis Presley and began to incorporate a rockabilly style into his music and into rock music.


Decca Records and the failure

CVINYL.COM - Label Variations: Decca Records

The first session was in Nashville on January 26, 1956 and held at Owen Bradley’s recording studio. Holly recorded a number of records that went nowhere. Among them was “That’ll Be the Day”  (that would be a hit). At this time Holly began writing. One of the songs “Cindy Lou” which was to be one of his biggest hits. It would later be renamed “Peggy Sue” at the suggestion of band member Jerry Allison.


Buddy wasn’t allowed to play the guitar as it was thought it made the recordings too difficult. Among the four songs that were recorded was “Blue Days, Black Nights” which would be Holly’s first single. On the label, his name was spelled “Buddy Holly” for the first time. Reviewed favorably in the trade press, the record did not do well in the marketplace.


Following this performance, Decca Records signed him to a contract in February 1956, misspelling his name as “Holly”. He, therefore, adopted the misspelled name for his professional career.

Holly formed his own band – The Crickets. It consisted of Holly (lead guitar and vocalist), Niki Sullivan (guitar), Joe B. Mauldin (bass), and Jerry Allison (drums).

One had difficulty determining if the Crickets were white or black singers (Holly sometimes played with black musicians Little Richard and Chuck Berry). The Crickets were only the second white rock group to tour Great Britain, and they inspired the later Beatles, a name somewhat similar to the Crickets. Holly’s essential eyeglasses even encouraged John Lennon.

John Lennon - Wikipedia


“That’ll be the Day” by the Crickets is Released

Because Decca had the original “That’ll Be the Day” it was determined to be unwise to use Holly’s name in the credits. Grabbing a dictionary they searched for an appropriate group name and decided to release the song as the Crickets. “That’ll Be The Day,” recorded by The Crickets, was released in June, 1957. Initially sales were slow but, by August they were increasing and it began to appear on the national charts. A month later “That’ll Be The Day” was one of the best selling records in both the rock and roll and R&B market.

That’ll be the Day on the Ed Sullivan show


Apollo Theater

(The Apollo Theater is a music hall located at 253 West 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard)

Buddy Holly and The Crickets were the first white group to play the Apollo Theater in Harlem. They were booked there in 1957 by a promoter who assumed they were black. Their show went over well.



Ed Sullivan Show

(The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran on CBS from June 20, 1948, to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan)

December 1-Buddy Holly and The Crickets perform That’ll Be The Day and Peggy Sue on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan calls Buddy back on stage after the second song for an impromptu interview and to solicit another “very nice hand for these Texas youngsters.”


The Last Concert at the Surf Ballroom

One of Clear Lake’s premier attractions is the Surf Ballroom. The ballroom is best known as the site of Buddy Holly’s last concert on February 2, 1959.



The musicians, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson, chartered a plane with hopes of cutting travel time between frigid Midwestern tour stops. A few extra hours of sleep waited at the destination, Moorhead, Minnesota.

But the plane wouldn’t make it out of Clear Lake, Iowa, crashing in a field just miles north of the Surf Ballroom, where the early rock stars wrapped a gig hours earlier. It was one of the first tragedies to strike modern American music and a figurative end to 1950s culture. Don McLean coined it “The Day the Music Died” in his 1971 opus “American Pie.”




point of the crash monument.

The memorial site - Picture of Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly, Clear Lake - Tripadvisor


American Pie – Don McLean


“The Buddy Holly Story” Is Released

The Buddy Holly Story is a 1978 biographical film which tells the life story of rock musician Buddy Holly.

It won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Busey) and Best Sound (Joel Fein).


The Buddy Holly Story (1978) ORIGINAL TRAILER



Buddy Holly is Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

John Fogerty Inducts Buddy Holly into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


Holly was in the first group of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

He left behind many recordings that were released posthumously, and he soon attained legendary stature; he was part of the first group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Buddy Holly Quotes and Sayings


If anyone kind of music you play, tell him 'pop.' Don't tell 'rock'n'roll' or they won't even le





Thank you!

Buddy Holly on Amazon Music

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