Buddy Holly 50 years later
It was 50 years ago next Tuesday, February 3, when Buddy Holly died. He was 22. I can’t remember where I was or what I had been doing when I heard the news. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me.
Holly, Ritchie Vallens and PJ Richardson (The Big Bopper) were killed in a plane crash in a farmer’s field near Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, 1959 and it really didn’t mean a thing to me at that time.
It was just another unfortunate accident which took the lives of three rock and roll singers.
I do remember the tributes to Holly and the songs written about the crash and his death, but I never really understood the significance of Buddy Holly until years later, when rock and roll began to mature.
His impact on music, not just rock and roll, has magnified with distance. He was the first major star to write and record his own songs. He was also the first to produce his own recordings. While in the studio, he experimented with over-dubbing, double-tracking and length of songs as well as other recording techniques that were copied by many later on.
His impact on music could be seen in the number of tributes to him from other performers. The Beatles took their name from Holly’s back up group The Crickets. The Hollies named themselves after him. Countless singers have recorded his music and Don McLean’s “American Pie” was a tribute to Buddy Holly.
I suspect that next Tuesday will bring recognition and tributes from all major news sources. I just wanted to add mine to the mix.