buddy holly

Early Recording of Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes 1955

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Buddy Holly's tragic death in an air crash. Buddy only performed rock and roll for  two short years, but in that time he left a lasting legacy to the world of popular music. Buddy was the first singer songwriter, arranging and producing his own sounds exploiting such advanced studio techniques as double-tracking. He introduced the world to the now-standard rock-band lineup of two guitars, bass and drums. Towards the end of his life, he was the first to intermix orchestral sounds with rock guitars. His songs are just as fresh today and the MerseyBeat owed much to his style and influence. His creativity was the motivation for the sounds of the sixties and without him perhaps the Liverpool sound wouldn't have happened. Holly was a big influence on the Beatles and the Hollies (both of whom derived their names from his). Even the Rolling Stones had their first major British hit with Holly's "Not Fade Away."

Buddy's Telephone Conversation with Decca

He was born Charles Hardin Holley (later amended to "Holly") on September 7th, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas. He learned to play guitar, piano and fiddle at an early age. After high school, he formed the Western and Bop Band, a country-oriented act that performed regularly on a Lubbock radio station and opened for acts that came through town. After being noticed by a talent scout, Holly was signed to Decca in early 1956, recording demos and singles for the label in Nashville under the name Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes. Back home, Holly opened a show at the Lubbock Youth Centre for Elvis Presley, an event that converted him overnight from country and western to rock and roll. "We owe it all to Elvis," he said. 


"Midnight Shift" Studio Recording 1956

Home Recording of "That's What They Say"




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