August 2, 2007

Buddy Holly

I grew up listening to oldies on 105.1 WKOL here in Vermont, as my mother would listen to the station any time the car was moving. As I remember it, it was a 50s/60s station, and has since slid up history through to the early 80s at this point. Unfortunently, it really hasn't been until this past year or so that I've really begun to appreciate the music that 'Kool 105' played.

Through the music that they played, from the Beatles to Chicago and the Eagles, I heard the music of Buddy Holly. The name wouldn't have meant much to me until recently, when I was flipping through a book that I recently purchased and came across a smiling young man - Buddy Holly. Reading through the entry, I learned that he was killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, but not before really making a splash in the Rock & Roll scene. I picked up a double album by the late singer, and really got hooked on his sound, and one of the things that I've really been happy to pick out was the roots of much of the music that we listen to today. Further discussion with my mother revealed that Don McLean's classic song American Pie deals directly with the death of Buddy Holly, which surprised me, although I seem to think that I had heard about that before, it just never made any sort of impact in my mind before now.

Holly was born on September 7th, 1936 in Texas, and learned how to play the piano and guitar, as well as the fiddle, early on. In the 1950s, he formed a band with some friends from high school, and they recorded some songs and played on the local radio station. Holly later made a deal with a record label, although without his friend Montgomery, and released Blue Days, Black Nights and Love Me as Holly and the Two Tunes, which went almost unheard of. Holly, by this time, was writing much of his own material. They renamed themselves Buddy Holly and the Crickets, opened for Elvis Presley, then cut another demo in New Mexico, That'll Be The Day, one of his best known songs, and became a number 1 hit. In 1958, Holly left the Crickets, and went to New York City, where he continued writing music, and got married. In February, they got tired of taking the bus on tour, and chartered a private plane in Iowa. Upon takeoff, the plane crashed, and Buddy Holly's life came to an end. The Crickets continued through to the 1990s, and Holly was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Now, for your listening pleasure:

That'll Be The Day - Buddy Holly
Well Alright - Buddy Holly
American Pie - Don McLean