Posted by themusicsover on February 3, 2010
Buddy Holly (Born Charles Holley)
September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959
Buddy Holly was a gifted singer-songwriter who, even though his career lasted just a year and a half, was arguably the most important figure in the birth of rock ‘n roll. Holly was more of a traditional country artist before being inspired by Elvis Presley and Bill Haley to add elements of rockabilly into his music in 1955. The following year, he was signed by Decca Records and formed his back-up band, the Crickets. Over the next eighteen months, Holly released one hit single after another. They included “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be the Day,” and “Oh Boy.” These songs became a direct influence on the likes of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. Just as Holly’s career was beginning to take off, tragedy struck. February 3, 1959…it’s been called “the day the music died.” While on a U.S. mid west tour called the Winter Dance Party, Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens were on a small Beechcraft airplane en route from Mason City, IA to Moorhead, MN. The winter weather was taking its toll on the traveling musicians. Waylon Jennings had originally been slated to fly ahead, but gave up his seat to Richardson at the last minute. Shortly after take off, the plane carrying rock ‘n roll’s brightest new stars crashed into an empty field killing everyone on board. Initial reports blamed pilot error on Roger Peterson, but future examinations vindicated him, putting the blame squarely on the bad weather conditions. Buddy Holly was 22 at the time of his death.
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