Buddy Holly

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer and songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born to a musical family in Lubbock, Texas, during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. Holly's style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, which he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.

Holly made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group "Buddy and Bob" with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, Holly decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band's style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when Holly opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records.

Holly's recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley, who had become famous for producing orchestrated country hits for stars like Patsy Cline. Unhappy with Bradley's musical style and control in the studio, Holly went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, and recorded a demo of "That'll Be the Day", among other songs. Petty became the band's manager and sent the demo to Brunswick Records, which released it as a single credited to "The Crickets", which became the name of Holly's band. In September 1957, as the band toured, "That'll Be the Day" topped the US and UK singles charts. Its success was followed in October by another major hit, "Peggy Sue."

The album The "Chirping" Crickets, released in November 1957, reached number five on the UK Albums Chart. Holly made his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1958 and soon after toured Australia and then the UK. In early 1959, he assembled a new band, consisting of future country music star Waylon Jennings (bass), famed session musician Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums), and embarked on a tour of the midwestern US. After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered an airplane to travel to his next show in Moorhead, Minnesota. Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson in a tragedy later referred to by Don McLean as "The Day the Music Died" in his song "American Pie."

During his short career, Holly wrote and recorded many songs. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. Holly was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Hollies, Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, Marshall Crenshaw, and Elton John. Holly was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of "100 Greatest Artists" in 2010.

Birth and Death Data: Born January 1, 1936 (Lubbock), Died February 3, 1959 (Clear Lake, Iowa)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1955 - 1970

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, guitar, lead guitar, electric guitar, songwriter

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 51-75 of 139 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 108599 1/19/1960 What to do Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 108600 12/17/1958 Learning the game Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 108601 12/8/1958 That makes it tough Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 110997 8/21/1961 Baby won't you come out tonight Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 110998 8/21/1961 Bo Diddley Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 110999 8/21/1961 I guess I was just a fool Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111000 8/21/1961 It's not my fault Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111001 8/21/1961 I tried to forget (see note) Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111002 8/21/1961 I'm gonna set my foot down Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111003 8/21/1961 Changin' all those changes Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111004 8/21/1961 Rock-a-bye rock Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111005 January 1957 Brown eyed handsome man Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111006 8/21/1961 Because I love you Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, lead guitar  
Decca 111007 8/21/1961 You're the one Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 112352 6/19/1962 Reminiscing Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 112353 6/19/1962 Wait till the sun shines, Nellie Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, electric guitar  
Decca 112762 11/14/1962 Reminiscing Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 112763 11/14/1962 Slippin' and slidin'-1 Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 112764 11/14/1962 Bo Diddley Buddy Holly vocalist  
Decca 112765 11/14/1962 Wait till the sun shines, Nellie-2 Buddy Holly vocalist, instrumentalist, electric guitar  
Decca 112766 11/14/1962 Baby won't you come out tonight Buddy Holly vocalist  
Decca 112767 11/14/1962 Brown eyed handsome man Buddy Holly vocalist  
Decca 112768 11/14/1962 Because I love you Buddy Holly vocalist  
Decca 112769 11/14/1962 It's not my fault Buddy Holly vocalist  
Decca 112770 11/14/1962 I'm gonna set my foot down Buddy Holly vocalist  
(Results 51-75 of 139 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Holly, Buddy," accessed July 13, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/204633.

Holly, Buddy. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/204633.

"Holly, Buddy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 13 July 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/204633

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.