- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/1 - Opportunistic / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (20,31,57)
- Incarnation Cross : JX Confusion
American musician, songwriter and performer who was a major rockabilly artist, beginning with pure country and then moving on to original soft-rock with his three-man group, "Buddy Holly and the Crickets." He was interested in black music from the mid-50s and worked with rock rhythms from his first recording session on 1/26/1956. The group cut four albums before his classic "That'll Be the Day" launched him on the way to becoming a rock legend. His fame was cut short when he was killed in a small plane crash at the age of 23 on the night of 2/03/1959.
Buddy was the pampered last and fourth child of hardworking musically inclined parents. Growing up in Lubbock, Texas, his parents paid for Buddy's music lessons and his older brother loaned him $1000 for his first good guitar and amplifiers. In the 1950's, Lubbock was a conservative town, mostly tuning into country and western music, but Buddy loved the music of Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ray Charles and others. With great determination, he played his early rock-a-billy style music anywhere and anytime anyone asked him. He landed his first recording contract with Decca Records at the age of 19, switching later to independent record producer Norman Petty, in a completely state-of-the-art recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Teaming up with local musicians known as The Crickets, Holly composed such hits as "Peggy Sue," "Not Fade Away," "Oh Boy" and "Maybe Baby."
Holly and The Crickets toured England in March 1958, where the Beatles became strong fans. He mentored another Texan, Waylon Jennings, who would later become a Cricket and played one of his last shows in Duluth, Minnesota, to an audience that included young Bobby Zimmerman, who later changed his name to Bob Dylan.
Holly met Maria Santiago at Coral Records where she was receptionist and they married in August of 1958. Holly was a meticulous record keeper and eventually wrangled with his producer, Petty, over songwriting, the publicity and advertising and Petty's control over recording royalties.
Holly was leaving a concert in Clear Lake Iowa, on 2/03/1959, when his light plane crashed, killing Holly and two of his back-up players. Because it was storming and their tour bus could not get through, they chartered a plane to reach the next gig. The plane never arrived at its destination; Richie Valens and Big Bopper were also on the fated flight.
Though his professional career lasted only 18 months, Holly's musical style, ranging from the raucous "Rave On" to the delicate "Everyday," was unmatched and unique in the expressive vocals and agility on guitar solos. His influence in the UK is shown by Paul McCartney's ownership of the rights to all Holly's songs. He exerted artistic control over his recordings and employed unusual recording techniques such as echoes, double-tracking and overdubbing that have since become commonplace. Holly's influenced is seen in the work of the Beatles, the Hollies, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Elton John, and the Grateful Dead, all finding inspiration in his well crafted and up-beat tunes. Remakes of his music include performances of Linda Rondstadt and John Melencamp. The city of Lubbock, Texas, has purchased the largest single collection of memorabilia and has initiated a Center for the Arts which would house a permanent collection. Since 1959, Lubbock sponsors a Buddy Holly Music Festival drawing fans from all over the world, honoring a musician or artist for inductee into the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame for outstanding contributions to West Texas.