Buddy Holly Happy Birthday!

BuddyKid1Buddy Holly, born Sept. 7th, 1936. He is part of the very first “Class of 1986”. The year that the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame started inducting artists.

BuddyKid2Born in Lubboch, Texas, his full name is Charles Hardin Holley.He graduated from Lubbock High School in 1955.

Buddy005He played music locally with High School friends, J.I. Allison (who would play drums and write songs for the Crickets) and Sonny Curtis (who played guitar and wrote “Rock Around With Ollie Vee”, my FAVORITE Buddy Holly/Crickets song. Sonny also wrote “Walk Right Back” a Top-10 single for the Everly Brothers. Bob Montgomery rounded out the group.

elvisbuddy2In January of 1955 the boys saw Elvis Presley for the first time. Wearing an orange sports coat, Red slacks and white buck shoes, Sonny said “Presley looked like a motor cycle headlight coming right at you”.Here’s a picture backstage of Elvis on the left and to the far right in the glasses, Buddy.

Buddy&ElvisGuitarThe boys changed their musical direction from Bluegrass to Rock ‘n Roll right then and there. On Sunday Feb 13th, 1955 they Opened the show for Elvis. Buddy even got to use Presley’s Martin D-18 guitar.

BlueDaysBlackNights1In 1956 Buddy got signed to Decca records and recorded with famous Nashville producer Owen Bradley. Buddy wasn’t happy with the sessions though. Two (2) singles were released, both did not sell.

BlueDaysBlackNights2Here’s a look at a very rare copy of a Decca “Promo” single.

Buddy001He later heard records like “Party Doll” which were produced by Norman Petty. Ironically his High Scholl buddy J.I.Allison played drums on that record along with Joe B. Mauldin on Bass, he later became the Crickets Bassist. Also Niki Sullivan on guitar. Niki tour with the Crickets, is on many of their records and appeared with the boys on the Ed Sullivan show but was never officially a Cricket.

Crickets6“That’ll Be The Day” was recorded and, because Buddy was still technically signed to Decca Records, the name “Crickets” was used. To further disguise his identity, the songwriters credit, seen in parenthesis under the song’s title, the name Charles Hardin was used.

Crickets1The single went to No. 1 and by the time Decca found out it was too late. As fate would have it, Brunswick records was owned by Decca. So suing the Crickets “New” label would amount to suing one’s self.

PeggySueRecords were then released using the name Buddy Holly, as a solo artist, on Coral records, another “Sister Label” owned by parent company Decca. Hereafter “Crickets” records were put out on Brunswick but solo “Buddy” records were put out on Coral. Why is anybody’s guess.

buddyhollygoldrecord2Here’s a photo of Buddy receiving a gold record for “Peggy Sue”. Note that the record in the plaque is a 78 R.P.M. record and not a 45. 78’s were still in mass production in the U.S.A. until 1958.

Crickets8“Oh Boy” another Top-10 single for the Crickets.

Crickets10“Maybe Baby” which just missed the Top-10 peaking at No. 17.

  HollySingle1ADecca finally gets on board and releases my FAVORITE Buddy Holly recording “Rock Around With Ollie Vee” in 1957.

j-200BuddyHollyB Overdubbing in the studio was becoming the rage in the late 1950’s. Buddy would use a Gibson J-200 for acoustic parts. Here he is with a “Blonde” model just like the one I use for my recordings and shows.

BuddyHollyNewsletterThe success with Brunswick & Coral releases continued.

HollyEP2AHowever, Buddy was wanting more artistic control so he left the Norman Petty studios and moved to New York.

HollyEP1ABoth Buddy & the Crickets were under contract to Petty, lawsuits were filed and thus the reason why the Crickets were not on that last tour in 1959.

GuitarPlayerBuddyHollyOn Feb. 2nd, 1959, the famous plane disaster happened. To this day however, Buddy’s influence on music is felt and honored with the re-release of recordings, movies, documentary’s, and even in reputable musicians magazines like “Guitar Player”.

Happy Birthday Buddy. Ya did REAL good!