Buddy Holly

Induction Year: 1994

Birth Name: Charles Hardin - Buddy - HolleyHolly
Birth Date: September 07, 1936
Place of Birth: Lubbock, TX
Deceased: February 03, 1959
Place of Death: Mason City, IA


(Inspiration for "That'll Be the Day"): In the autumn of 1956, Buddy and Jerry Allison saw the new John Ford western, "The Searchers." John Wayne often used the phrase "That'll Be the Day" whenever he disagreed with anyone. After Buddy and Jerry left the film, they began using the words as a catch phrase and from this came the idea for the song. It was recorded the following year.

Grade School--J.T. Hutchinson Junior High (started in the fall of 1949)
High School--Lubbock Senior High School


Discography / Career Highlights

Career Milestones:
age 11 - started piano lessons
1949 - got first guitar
1953 - first radio appearance on KDAV (Lubbock) on the program "Sunday Party"; performed with schoolfriend Bob Montgomery
1953 - formed trio with Bob Montgomery and Larry Welborn and performed on KDAV in a segment called "The Buddy and Bob Show"
1955 - opening act (along with schoolfriends Bob Montgomery and Larry Welborn) for an all-star show at the Cotton Club in Lubbock on June 3, which included Elvis Presley
1955 - appeared on a bill headlined by Bill Haley and His Comets at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock on October 14; travelling with the show was Nashville talent agent Eddie Crandall, who was impressed by Holly and tried getting him a recording contract
1956 - first recording session (for Decca in Nashville, TN)on January 26; recorded with backup musicians Sonny Curtis, Don Guess, and Jerry Allison
1969 - first single released, "Blue Days, Black Nights", in April
1957 - traveled to Clovis, NM for recording session with Norman Petty (accompanied by Jerry Allison, Larry Welborn, and Niki Sullivan) on February 25
1957 - came up with name, The Crickets
1957 - signed as a solo act by Coral Records in New York in March; Crickets signed as a group on another subsidiary label, Brunswick (both labels subsidiaries of Decca)
1957 - "That'll Be the Day" released in May (went to #1 on 09/23/57)
summer 1957 - signed up with one of the biggest booking agencies in the country, the General Artists Corporation, in Washington, DC
1957 - first nationwide tour in September
1957 - Buddy Holly and the Crickets made debut on the "Ed Sullivan Show" on December 1
1957 - second television appearance on the "Arthur Murray Dance Party" in December
1957 - booked through the December holiday season on Alan Freed's "Holiday of Stars" show at the Paramount Theater in New York
1957 - recorded "Words of Love," in which he sang with himself in one of the earliest examples of double tracking
1958 - group became a trio (bass, guitar, drums) after guitarist Niki Sullivan left the group
1958 - made first overseas trips to Honolulu and Australia in February
1958 - made first tour of London on March 1; the first rock 'n' roll star actually to appear in the country's theaters (according to "The Legend That is Buddy Holly")
1958 - first solo recording session in June
1958 - broke with mentor, Norman Petty; The Crickets broke up (on October 28)
winter 1958 - began working as an independent record producer and taking drama lessons at Lee Strasberg Actors Studio in New York
1959 - agreed to join a "Winter Dance Party" package of rock 'n' roll musicians set up to tour the Midwest in January; invited backup musicians Tommy Allsup, Waylon Jennings, and Charlie Bunch to travel with him; this tour included his last performance

1986 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
1997 - Grammy\Lifetime Achievement Award

Catalog Highlights:
"That'll Be the Day" Co-writer: Jerry Allison, Norman Petty - Artists: Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957), Linda Ronstadt

"Peggy Sue" - Co-writer: Jerry Allison, Norman Petty - Artists: Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957)

"Maybe Baby" - Co-writer: Norman Petty - Artists: Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1958), Susie Allanson (1978)

"Think It Over" - Co-writer: Norman Petty, Jerry Allison - Artists: Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1958)

"It's So Easy"

"True Love Ways"


Seats on the plane that Holly died on were to be for Buddy, Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings. Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (Big Bopper) talked Allsup and Jennings into letting them have their seats

Holly crammed virtually all of his composing into the last three years of his life; he showed little interest in writing songs until 1956 when he was trying to break into the recording business

"Peggy Sue" was originally known as "Cindy Lou"; name changed to that of Jerry Allison's girlfriend

The difference in name spelling between Holly and Holley (his birth name) arose when the family name was misspelled on Holly's first recording contract in 1956; Holly did not bother correcting it

Band at various times known (unofficially) as the Three Tunes, and the Two Tones

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