Buddy Holly: 60 Years Since The Music Died
On the day the music died, the world lost 22-year-old Buddy Holly, 17-year-old Ritchie Valens, and 28-year-old The Big Bopper.
In spite of his very short career, Buddy Holly was a big influence on what is today’s rock ‘n’ roll music.
At just 12 years old in 1949, Holly recorded his first song, a Hank Snow song called My Two Timin’ Woman.
Bill Haley was the first singer to bring rock ‘n’ roll music to white audiences with his band Bill Haley & His Comets. His music influenced Buddy Holly and The Crickets
Three Stars, the first tribute to these artists that was ever recorded, was released on 5th April 1959 by Tommy Dee with Carol Kay providing backing vocals. The song sold more than a million copies and won a gold disc.
A lot of musicians picked up the rock ‘n’ roll torch, keeping Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper in the public’s mind. Films such as The Buddy Holly Story (1978) and La Bamba (1987) were also produced about their lives.
Influence in Modern Music
Buddy Holly was one of the most important influences on many modern musicians. Paul McCartney is the current owner of the publishing rights of most of Buddy Holly’s work, having also instituted in England a ‘Buddy Holly Week’. He also covered many of Holly’s hits, stating that The Beatles’ first 40 songs were influenced by Buddy Holly.
Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Elton John, and many more musicians were inspired by these legends.
Blueprints of the Standard Rock ‘n’ Roll Band
Drums, bass, and twin guitar – The Crickets’ line-up opened the way to what is today the standard line-up for rock ‘n’ roll bands since the mid-sixties. Buddy Holly also used to experiment with unusual instruments in the studio, and The Crickets often wrote their own songs.
Even music that wasn’t a Buddy Holly original became popular, as Holly used to put his own stamp on songs, resulting in many listeners considering Holly’s versions as the definitive ones.