Biography of Famous Rock Star Buddy Holly Part 1

About the famous singer Buddy Holly history and biography of the rock n' roll star.

Buddy Holly (1936-1959). From the autumn of 1957 to early 1959, singer-guitarist-composer Buddy Holly scored a succession of record hits and produced what many critics have called some of the best rock 'n' roll ever made. He was the 1st artist to go beyond the rigid, classic structure of 12-bar rock 'n' roll, and his band, The Crickets, established the tradition of the guitar-based, self-contained (writing-singing-performing) white rock group, which has since become the staple of the music industry.

Charles Hardin Holly was born on September 6, 1936, in Lubbock, Tex., where he was raised on the music of Hank Williams and Roy Acuff. At the age of 12, his father bought him a $45 Fender guitar, and within 3 years he was playing and singing his way through local radio shows and sleazy cafe jobs. At that time nobody suspected Holly of having the potential to be a star in the frantic new rockabilly that was emerging in those years (1954-1955). Countrified music hardly seemed the place for a shy skinny youngster with horn-rimmed glasses, crooked teeth, curly hair, and a reedy voice that sort of hiccupped from one note to another.

Despite these physical limitations, he played Lubbock's Fall Park Coliseum in the same show with Bill Haley & the Comets in the fall of 1955. Decca Records brought him to Nashville for several recording sessions, but they led nowhere. His 1st record, "Blue Days, Black Nights," came out in the summer of 1956 and didn't do well, and his 2nd release, "Modern Don Juan," also flopped. Decca lost interest.

Back in Lubbock, Holly formed The Crickets, with Holly as vocalist and lead guitarist, and 3 friends as sidemen. They drove his dad's car to Clovis, N. Mex., where Norman Petty, a composer and producer of show tunes, had his studios. And the rest, as they say in the business, is history.

Petty more or less joined the group as pianist, arranger, and cowriter. He arranged a contract by which The Crickets would record for Brunswick, and Buddy Holly, as solo artist, would sing on Coral. Ironically, both labels were subsidiaries of Decca.

The Crickets 1st great success came in 1957; it was "That'll Be the Day"-probably one of the best rocks tunes ever made. It was followed by 4 more hits over the next year and a half. Holly's solo career also prospered, as he experimented with orchestration, Latin rhythms, double-tracking, and length in his music. At the same time, Decca took advantage of his popularity by releasing some of his old Nashville tapes. Never before had a musician's work so flooded the market.

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