On September 7, 1936, Charles Hardin Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas, where as a boy he learned to play the guitar, piano and what he called “a fiddle.” At 13 he and a school buddy performed locally as a duo. At 19 he appeared on the same bill in Lubbock, Texas with Elvis Presley.
Changing the spelling of his last name to Holly in 1956 and a year later inviting Jerry Allison, Joe Mauldin and Niki Sullivan to record with him as “The Crickets”, their first big hit, “That’ll Be the Day” topped the charts in the fall of 1957. By Christmas Buddy’s “Peggy Sue” reached the top five, along with “Oh Boy” by the Crickets. The following year, “Maybe Baby”, “Rave On”, “Think It Over” and “Early in the Morning” charted. In 1959 a song written by Paul Anka, “It Really Doesn’t Matter Anymore”, was another big hit for Buddy Holly.
With a unique singing style featuring his trademark “hiccup”, Buddy Holly was an international star when he went on tour in early 1959 with Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson, known as the Big Bopper. Following a performance in Clear Lake, Iowa, the three stars chartered a plane to transport them to Fargo, North Dakota. The early morning flight on February 3, 1959, would end in tragedy, crashing during a snow storm into an Iowa corn field, killing Holly, Valens, Richardson and the pilot.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets were inducted into the Rock an Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009. He is also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Visit the official Buddy Holly website here