Woulda, Coulda Shoulda… Buddy Holly at 75 – Never Fade Away

Wow, I TOTALLY dropped the ball yesterday…

On Sept. 7, 1936 Charles Hardin Holley entered the world.  That same world would come to know him as Buddy Holly, and although he only walked this earth for a short while, his music changed everything.  It soars as high today as it did then, plane or no plane.

Yesterday would have been his 75th birthday and I have no doubt he would have still been making beautiful music.  It’s absolutely astounding to think of his output, especially given the fact that he died at age 22.  I cannot watch The Buddy Holly Story (what the heck happened, Gary???) or La Bamba, without getting very emotional.  The human loss as well as the loss to Rock n’ Roll was staggering… Buddy, Ritchie Valens at 17, J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson at 28 and the pilot, Roger Peterson.

I love the movie, but did not realize that Paul McCartney produced and hosted the documentary The Real Buddy Holly Story to answer criticisms of the film’s accuracy.  I also did not know that Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is credited as the first “Jukebox Musical” and “is still running in the UK after 22 years.”  Look at what that has spawned!  Smokey Joe’s Cafe,  Mama Mia (which is credited as the one that lit the theatrical (and Broadway) box office on fire and really started the trend with its MASSIVE success)… Jersey BoysRock of Ages… and American Idiot to name a few of the other hit shows.

Buddy Holly… February 3, 1959 is now known as “The Day The Music Died,” thanks to Don McLean’s “American Pie.” 

I am sure many of you know this crazy story that would haunt me, too…

“Bandmate Waylon Jennings had given up his seat on the plane, causing Holly to jokingly tell Jennings, “I hope your ol’ bus freezes up!” Jennings shot back facetiously, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes!” It was a statement that would haunt Jennings for decades.”

It is hard not to talk about Buddy Holly without the tragedy and all the things that played a part in it… unpaid royalties… forced tour dates, etc.  But the main thing should be the music.  What a catalog he left us.

Buddy Holly – Buddy Holly

This is Buddy’s second album and came out in 1958.  It is just so damn good… He was just so damn good.  The Crickets, included Niki Sullivan (guitar), Joe B. Mauldin (bass), and Jerry Allison (drums).   The album gave us “Peggy Sue”, “Listen To Me”, Lieber and Stoller’s “You’re So Square (Baby, I Don’t Care)”, “Rave On” and my favorite Holly song “Everyday.”  (Love James Taylor’s cover, too).  In fact, there are so many great covers out there… The Stones doing “Not Fade Away”… and The Dead taking the same song a whole other way and doing it live so many times… Mmm!

Buddy influenced The Beatles and Dylan and Springsteen and almost anyone who plays Rock or Rockabilly or blues or any kind of music.  He was the very definition of early Rock n’ Roll and forever left his foot print and hand print and finger prints all over modern music.

Just two days ago, the second Buddy Holly tribute album this year came out… Listen to Me: Buddy Holly.  Rave On Buddy Holly came out on June 28, 2011.  I’ll listen to both, although I am more intrigued by the newer one… but when push comes to shove, in the verbal sense of course, I’ll take the originals!  There are so many great sets and compilations out there, too, so you can easily get your Buddy fill.  I just wish he was still here and that we could have seen his full potential.  It would have been stellar, and like the great stars, he would have kept shining and never faded away.


“On Sept. 7, 2011 (Holly’s 75th birthday), Buddy Holly received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This was attended by his widow Maria Elena Santiago, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon and actor Gary Busey, who played Holly in The Buddy Holly Story.”


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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