Archive for Buddy Holly

Rock Moment: The Day The Music Died

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by 30daysout

Repost: Published in 2009, still of interest today.


To this day, people still mourn the musical talent who died in a plane crash in the early morning hours of Feb. 3, 1959.  A small airplane, carrying rock stars Buddy Holly, J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens, crashed only minutes after taking off from Mason City, Iowa, in a snowstorm.

The three had just played the “Winter Dance Party” and were heading to the next stop in Fargo, North Dakota.  Richardson was 28, Valens was 17, and Holly was only 22 years old.   Richardson, from Beaumont, Texas, was already a proven commodity with not only his own hits, but songs buddyhollyhe wrote – “Running Bear” for Johnny Preston and “White Lightning” for George Jones – becoming hits as well.  Valens influenced such later acts as Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys and was the subject of a 1987 hit movie.

But perhaps the greatest loss was Buddy Holly – he was certainly one of the most original musicians ever, and a monumental talent in rock and roll.  In only two short years he had grown powerful enough to control everything he wrote and recorded and at the time of his death he was planning to produce music for other artists as well as his own.  Holly was the iconic rocker, the first to perform as the leader of his own band and the first to employ the now-standard singer/guitarist/bassist/drummer lineup.

If he had lived, perhaps Holly would have faded away or would have deteriorated like Elvis into a paunchy embarrassment playing Vegas casinos.  But I don’t think so.  You see what Buddy Holly could have been when you look at great artists who have survived and thrived over decades – artists with great integrity like Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.

Even though he had a relatively short musical career, and even though he was only 22 years old at the time of his death, and more than 50 years after his plane nosedived into a snowy Iowa cornfield, Buddy Holly remains one of the most important artists ever in rock and roll.

YouTube: Buddy Holly & the Crickets performing “Peggy Sue” in 1957

MP3: “Rave On” by Buddy Holly

MP3: “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly & the Crickets

YouTube: “American Pie” by Don McLean

MP3: “Buddy Holly” by Weezer

YouTube: “Rock Around With Ollie Vee” from The Buddy Holly Story biopic

Video Du Jour: Buddy Holly

Posted in News with tags on September 7, 2011 by 30daysout

Had he lived past 1959, rock and roll legend Buddy Holly would have been 75 years old today. He only lived to age 22, but he managed to make a huge impact on the rock music we listen to today. Rave on, Buddy!

30 Days Out post: The Day the Music Died

Lost Classics! The “Chirping” Crickets

MP3: “Oh Boy!”

MP3: “Rave On”

MP3: “Rock Around With Ollie Vee”

MP3: “I’m Gonna Love You Too”

MP3: “Well … All Right”

The Texas 20: Our “official” songs from the Lone Star state

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2010 by 30daysout

Some radio DJs here in Houston had an intriguing bit going a few weeks ago: they wanted listeners to nominate an official state rock song for Texas. Apparently Ohio did that recently, and its official state rock song is now “Hang On Sloopy.” Go figure.

Anyway, listeners of Dean and Rog (on KGLK-FM, “The Eagle”) could choose from a short list of a few songs each from ZZ Top, Buddy Holly, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds … and their winner was the Top’s “La Grange.” Official rock song for the entire state of Texas? Hmmm, maybe. To make the song truly official, Dean and Rog now have to get the Texas legislature to buy into that – I’m not sure lawmakers are gonna go for a tune about a whorehouse.

But it got me to thinkin’: Texas is a pretty big place.  Its music encompasses not only rock and roll, but blues, country, Tex-Mex and even a little Cajun from our nice neighbors to the east. Why stop at just one official state rock song? Why not have an entire album of “official” songs for the big ol’ Lone Star state?

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Rock Moment: February 2, 1959

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by 30daysout

Repost: This is from last year, still of interest today.



The Big Bopper

The Winter Dance Party 1959 , featuring Buddy Holly, J.P “Big Bopper” Richardson, Ritchie Valens and Dion and the Belmonts, was set to cover 24 Midwestern cities in three weeks. Touring is hard enough, but when the heating system on your bus constantly breaks down in sub-zero temperatures, people can reach their breaking point. By the time the tour pulled into Clear Lake, Iowa, on Feb. 2, 1959, Holly was fed up.

Holly came up with the idea to charter a plane to the next gig in Moorhead, Minn. Not only was he fed up with the bus, but he was running out of clothes and wanted to do some laundry. After the gig at the Surf Ballroom, Holly told the guys that there were three seats and the cost was $36 a piece. Dion couldn’t fathom spending that much money. That was rent for the month. Richardson, who had come down with the flu, couldn’t take another night on the bus, so he asked Holly bandmate Waylon Jennings for his seat. Jennings agreed. Holly then started breaking his balls by saying “I hope the bus freezes up.” Jennings countered with “I hope your plane crashes.”


Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens, the 17-year old phenom, had never been on a small plane before and asked Holly’s other bandmate, Tommy Allsup, for his seat. Allsup initially refused, but after playing a second set, decided to flip a coin for the seat. Valens called “heads” and shortly thereafter Allsup was heading for the cold bus.

Just after midnight on Feb. 3, Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper headed for the airport in Mason City, Iowa.

Tomorrow: The next day, and the next 50 years

MP3: “Come On, Let’s Go” by Ritchie Valens

MP3: “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens

MP3: “Donna” by Ritchie Valens

MP3: “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper

MP3: “The Big Bopper’s Wedding” by the Big Bopper

Beaumont Enterprise photo gallery featuring “The Big Bopper” and local radio personality Gordon Baxter delivering an on-air eulogy in 1959

Buddy Holly and the Crickets Official Website

Ritchie Valens Official Website

“Big Bopper” Official Website

Lost Classics! – “The Buddy Holly Story”

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by 30daysout

At age 14 I was a huge Paul McCartney fan and would always here him talk about how he idolized a guy named Buddy Holly. I had no idea who Holly was or where he was from. Then in 1978, The Buddy Holly Story hit theaters with Gary Busey in the title role. I remember seeing Busey in the goofball cross-country comedy “The Gumball Rally” and thought I would give the movie a shot. 

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Lost Classics! The “Chirping”Crickets

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , on July 27, 2008 by 30daysout

Way back in 1957, rock and roll was just getting to its feet and learning to walk – and swing.  Elvis had just begun to make an impact the year before, but it took four young men out of Lubbock, Texas, to set the pattern for much of what was yet to come.

Led by Buddy Holley (he would later drop the “e” in his last name), the Crickets were pioneers in many ways: they were the first to perform in the classic “rock and roll band” lineup – drums, bass, guitars, singer.  They were the first major group to write their own music.  And they were the first to employ record-label shenanigans – the Crickets (Niki Sullivan, Joe Mauldin and Jerry Allison) played on the album but the backing vocals were provided by an uncredited group, the Picks.

Nevertheless, The “Chirping” Crickets, when released in 1957, yielded a few hits, including the No. 1 “That’ll Be The Day.”  Two other songs, “Oh Boy!” and “Maybe Baby” also made the Top 20.  Also included was “Not Fade Away,” which would later be a hit for the Rolling Stones and a cover for just about everyone else.  The album was a moderate hit and proved to be rather influential, especially for a few teenagers in Liverpool, England, who named their own musical group in tribute to the Crickets.  Young John Lennon twisted the spelling a bit, though.  Clever lad.   

One wonders how the music would be different, had Buddy Holly not decided to take that fateful airplane flight in 1959.

MP3: “Oh Boy!”

MP3: “Not Fade Away”

MP3: “Maybe Baby”

MP3: “I’m Lookin’ For Someone To Love”

Review: “Life, Death, Love and Freedom,” John Mellencamp

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2008 by 30daysout

John Mellencamp comes around every couple of years with a batch of new material, whether you like it or not. The Indiana native has never been afraid to write and sing about what exactly is on his mind. In his three decades of hitmaking he has addressed the plight of the American farmer, the Iraq War, racial injustice and many other controversial subjects. On his latest, Life, Death, Love and Freedom, he ponders all of these subjects with the same vigor, albeit with lackluster results.

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