Rock and Roll maverick Buddy Holly (1936–1959) was born Charles Hardin Holley on this day in Lubbock, Texas. His death in a plane crash following a concert was lamented by Don McLean's American Pie as "the day the music died."
"Buddy Holly gave you confidence. He was like the boy next door," praised Beatle Paul McCartney about Holly's enduring influence on music.
The bespectacled young Holly experimented with double-tracking in the studio and was the first rock artist to record with a string orchestra. He was also the first to regularly write his own hits and inspired Roy Orbison and John Lennon to do the same.
Along with his band the Crickets, he combined rock and roll with the blues to create such classics as That'll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, and Maybe Baby.
The Crickets were the first to use the now-standard band set up of two guitars, a bass, and drums. With Buddy, rock music was elevated to a true art form.
"It's destiny, Peggy Sue...everything's destiny," Holly said.
Focused and committed to his craft, he garnered seven charted Top Forty singles in less than a year. He credited Elvis Presley for his successful blazing career. "Without Elvis, none of us could have made it."
More ROCK & ROLL Quotations
Don't let a closed door stop you.