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Home The Decades 1950s Buddy Holly - The Day The Music Died

Buddy Holly - The Day The Music Died


VAV!/February 3, 2012

The myth of legendary rocker Buddy Holly has grown by degrees since his death in a fiery plane crash on an Iowa cornfield shortly after 1 a.m. on Feb. 3, 1959. Buddy Holly was only 22 years old. On board the plane were two other rock singers, similiarly lost to the ages of music, Ritchie Valens 17, and J. P. Richardson, known as the "Big Bopper."

Since Holly's death, very few stars have shone so brilliantly or briefly as Buddy Holly.  His influence on the young age of rock and roll has rarely been surpassed.  Buddy Holly's career began in Lubbock, Texas, and for 18 glorious months, he was a national sensation writing an impressive number of hit songs, some of which have become standards. Perhaps most of all he's remembered for his gold disc, "Peggy Sue," and  trademark  black-rimmed glasses and slim Jim ties.

After high school, Holly started a band playing country and western songs in a Lubbock radio station with gigs along the way. He opened for acts that soared through Lubbock. It may well have been Holly's opening for Elvis Presley in 1955 that became the turning point in his career. From that moment on, it's reported Holly began a conversion.

By 1956, Holly and his band began recording in Nashville under the name Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes. Later the group revised the lineup and were re-named The Crickets. By 1957, Holly wrote and recorded his unforgettable hit, "That'll Be the Day," with The Crickets in 1957. Incredibly, between August 1957 and August 1958, Holly and the Crickets charted seven different Top 40 singles.By October 1958, Holly paid his respects to The Crickets and split.  He began a tour through the Midwest in 1959 with The Winter Dance Party.

Since Holly's death, Don McLean's iconic song "American Pie" has memorialized Holly's death as the "day the music died."

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