Buddy Holly

~ Person


Note: Some of the earliest releases were credited only as The Crickets and appear on that page. Please do not add them here.

Born: Charles Harden Holley in Lubbock, TX, USA .. Died: In a plane crash, The Day the Music Died

Annotation last modified on 2012-06-27 10:36 UTC.

Legal name: Charles Hardin Holley


Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter, often considered one of the main figures of the rock and roll genre in the mid-1950s.

Born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, Holly learned to play the guitar and sing with his siblings. Influenced by country music and rhythm and blues acts, Holly performed locally with high school friends. He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year formed the group "Buddy and Bob" with his friend, Bob Montgomery. In 1955, Holly decided to pursue a career in music after opening for Elvis Presley. As Holly opened for Presley three times that year, his band shifted from his country & western style entirely to rock-and-roll. Opening in October for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him land a contract with Decca Records.

Holly performed his first recording sessions produced by Owen Bradley. Unhappy with Bradley's restrictions and the results of their work, Holly decided to visit producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico. Attracted by the success of the records produced by Petty, Holly traveled with his band to the studio, where among other songs, they recorded a demo of "That'll Be the Day". Petty became the band's manager, and sent the demo to Brunswick Records. Impressed, the label decided to release it without a re-recording. Since Holly's name was still linked to Decca, Brunswick credited the single to "The Crickets", which became Holly's band name.

By September 1957, as the band toured, "That'll Be the Day" topped the US "Best Sellers in Stores" chart and the UK Singles Chart. Its success was followed in October by the release of "Peggy Sue", that reached number three in "Best Sellers in Stores", three on the rhythm and blues chart and number six on the UK Singles Chart. The November release of the Chirping Crickets album reached number five on the UK Albums Chart. By January 1958, Holly had twice appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Following his last performance, he embarked on a tour through Australia, followed by a tour of the United Kingdom in February.

During a visit to New York City, Holly met Maria Elena Santiago. After marrying her, Holly moved to the city. The New York scene further interested Holly in record producing and songwriting. At the same time Holly and the Crickets started to feel unhappy with their manager. With his royalties frozen by promoter Manny Greenfield, Petty could not pay his royalties to Holly, who blamed his manager. Holly fired Petty in December 1958 and split with the Crickets as they decided to keep the manager.

In need of money, Holly assembled a new band consisting of future country icon Waylon Jennings (bass) and Tommy Allsup (guitar) and embarked on a Midwest tour to cover his needs. After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, he chartered a plane to get to his next show in Moorhead, Minnesota. Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, J. P. Richardson and the pilot.

During his short career, Holly wrote, recorded and produced his own material. He is often regarded as the act that set the traditional rock-and-roll two guitar, bass and drums lineup. Holly was a major influence in popular music, on the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Elton John and many others. He was inducted with the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and later ranked by Rolling Stone at number thirteen on its "100 Greatest Artists" list.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1958 Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 4
1958 That'll Be the Day Buddy Holly 2
1960 The Buddy Holly Story, Volume II Buddy Holly 1
1963 Reminiscing Buddy Holly 1
1964 Showcase Buddy Holly 1
1965 Holly in the Hills Buddy Holly & Bob Montgomery 1
1969 Giant Buddy Holly 1
1986 Something Special From Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1987 For the First Time Anywhere Buddy Holly 1
2001 Only the Love Songs Buddy Holly with The Picks 1
2002 Holly in the Hills / Giant Buddy Holly 1
2005 Gold Buddy Holly 1
Buddy Holly's Crickets Buddy Holly & The Crickets 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1959 The Buddy Holly Story Buddy Holly 1
1967 Buddy Holly's Greatest Hits Buddy Holly 3
1971 Portrait in Music Buddy Holly 1
1971 Portrait in Music, Volume 2 Buddy Holly 1
1973 The Complete Buddy Holly Story Buddy Holly 2 1
1977 A Rock & Roll Collection Buddy Holly 1
1978 20 Golden Greats Buddy Holly 4
1979 The Complete Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1985 From the Original Master Tapes Buddy Holly 4
1985 Legend Buddy Holly 1
1985 The Hit Singles Collection Buddy Holly 1
1987 More Hits of Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1988 The Best of Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1988 The Wonderful World of Buddy Holly: 24 Golden Hits Buddy Holly 1
1989 The Legendary Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1989 16 Original World Hits Buddy Holly 1
1991 My Greatest Songs Buddy Holly 2
1992 All Time Greatest Hits Buddy Holly 1
1992 The Rock 'n' Roll Era: Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1993 "Peggy Sue" Buddy Holly 1
1993 The Buddy Holly Collection Buddy Holly 1
1993 Words of Love: 28 Classic Songs From Buddy Holly & The Crickets 1
1994 Oh Boy Buddy Holly 1
1994 The Best of Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 2
1995 25 All Time Greatest Hits Buddy Holly 1
1995 The Love Songs Buddy Holly 1
1995 The Memorial Album Buddy Holly 1
1996 Greatest Hits Buddy Holly 1
1996 The Very Best of Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1996 36 All Time Greatest Hits, Volume 1 Buddy Holly 1
1996 36 All Time Greatest Hits, Volume 2 Buddy Holly 1
1996 36 All Time Greatest Hits, Volume 3 Buddy Holly 1
1998 The Unforgettable Buddy Holly and the Crickets Buddy Holly 1
1999 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1
1999 The Very Best of Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 2
1999 ’57–’59 The Rarities Collection Buddy Holly 1
1999 Classic Buddy Holly Buddy Holly 1

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