Charles Hardin Holley, known as Buddy Holly, was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He was a singer and songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll.
Holly’s music career lasted for only two years before his death at the age of 22 in a plane crash, but he left a lasting legacy that has influenced many musicians over the years.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the life and music of Buddy Holly!
His early years
Charles Hardin Holley, better known as Buddy Holly, was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He was the fourth child of Lawrence and Ella Holley’s six children. All of the Holley children were musical; Buddy learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. When he was sixteen, he formed his first band, the Silver Kings. In 1955, he changed his stage name to “Buddy Holly” at the suggestion of his manager, Norman Petty.
That same year, Holly made his first recordings for Decca Records. They were not successful commercially, but they did catch the attention of producers in Nashville who invited him to come to Tennessee to record again. These recordings were also not successful, but they did lead to Holly being offered a contract with Brunswick Records. His Brunswick debut single, “Blue Days, Black Nights,” was released in early 1956 and quickly became a hit.
Many successful singles
Holly continued to release successful singles throughout 1956 and 1957, including “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” and “Oh Boy!” In early 1958, he began working with producer Dick Clark on an album called “Reminiscing.” The album was not completed before Holly left Brunswick Records later that year.
Holly then signed with Coral Records and began working on his next album, “Listen to Me.” The first single from the album, “Rave On,” was released in May 1958 and reached the top ten on the Billboard charts. Holly continued to tour and release successful singles throughout 1958 and 1959.
On February 17, 1959, Holly embarked on a tour of the Midwest with his band, The Crickets. On February 22, they played a show in Clear Lake, Iowa. The next day, they were scheduled to fly to Moorhead, Minnesota for their next show. However, bad weather forced them to make a stop in Fargo, North Dakota to refuel.
While in Fargo, Holly decided to charter a small plane to take him and his bandmates to their next destination. Tragically, the plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing everyone on board. Buddy Holly was just 22 years old.
The world mourned the loss of one of the most talented and innovative musicians of his generation. Holly’s short career had a lasting impact on the world of rock and roll, and he continues to be remembered and admired by fans all over the world.
Hit Songs From Buddy Holly included:
- That’ll Be the Day
- Peggy Sue
- Oh Boy!
- Rave On
- Crazy Arms
- It’s So Easy
- Maybe Baby (She’s Got It)
- True Love Ways
- Well…All Right
- It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
Listen to Bully Holly & The Crickets sing ‘That’ll Be The Day’: