AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #285 : BUDDY HOLLY

This is a total cheat of a post.  This ICA has 14 tracks, and the running order is exactly the same as can be found on a budget-priced album The Best of Buddy Holly, released on Hallmark Records back in 1986.  I’ve long had a cassette copy of the album, which I think I paid £1.99 for back in the day, and just the other week I picked up a vinyl copy for the exact same price.

Here’s what’s written on the back of the sleeve:-

Charles Hardin ‘Buddy’ Holly was born on September 7th 1936 in Lubbock, Texas, the youngest of four children of Laurence and Ella Holley. At the age of 12 Buddy developed a strong interest in music and singing, so he bought a guitar, and before long was playing and singing a few tunes with a natural talent. Soon he and a schoolfriend, another aspiring guitarist, Bob Montgomery, began playing regularly together. They landed a spot on Radio KDAV and with the addition of bassist Larry Welborne, Buddy and Bob went on to make a number of demo discs in 1954.

Just over a year later, Buddy and Bob appeared as one of the many junior acts supporting Bill Haley and The Comets at a concert in Lubbock, where they were spotted by a Nashville talent scout. Soon afterwards Buddy landed a contract with a major record company. During 1956 Buddy attended several recording sessions in Nashville, cutting a number of tracks. Although a couple of singles were released none were particularly successful. Dissatisfied with the company and producers, Holly travelled to Clovis, New Mexico and to the studio of Norman Petty – that’s when things really started to happen.

With a new group called The Crickets and producer Norman Petty, Holly re-recorded ‘That’ll Be The Day’ in a more contemporary and upbeat style from the earlier Nashville sessions. This is what Buddy wanted all along. The recording shot to the Number 1 position on both sides of the Atlantic. Like all Buddy’s early hits, the songs were simply credited to The Crickets. Seeing commercial possibilities Petty continued to record The Crickets, with Holly singing lead, and the singing/playing group providing back-up harmonies, while he also recorded Holly solo for another label.  The result was a string of hits, including million-sellers, Maybe Baby, Peggy Sue and It Doesn’t Matter Anymore to name but a few.

In 1958 Holly toured Britain and on returning to the States married Maria Elena, a Puerto Rican girl and moved to Greenwich Village, New York. In January the following year Buddy Holly accompanied by Tommy Allsup, Waylon Jennings and Charlie Bunch embarked on The Winter Dance Party tour which also starred Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, along with Dion and The Belmonts.  On February 2nd the artistes appeared at The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa – it was to be Buddy’s last public appearance. In the hope of avoiding the discomfort of a long uncomfortable trip by road, he had chartered a plane to fly Jennings, himself and Allsup from Mason City Airport to Fargo, Dakota for a show at nearby Moorhead.  In the event, Jennings and Allsup gave their seats to Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. Shortly after take off, in the early hours of February 3rd, the plane crashed, killing pilot Roger Peterson and his 3 passengers.

Despite his death Buddy Holly’s recordings continued to sell in vast quantities, particularly in Britain, where over the next two years he chalked up a further 19 entries in the best selling charts.  In just two years Buddy Holly and The Crickets had created one of the most important chapters in the history of rock – a legend that lives today.

SIDE ONE

1. That’ll Be The Day
2. Maybe Baby
3. Peggy Sue Got Married
4. Rave On
5. True Love Ways
6. Bo Diddley
7. Oh Boy!

SIDE TWO

1. Peggy Sue
2. Everyday
3. Think It Over
4. Brown Eyed Handsome Man
5. Heartbeat
6. Raining In My Heart
7. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore

14 songs, but all told, it has a running time of less than 31 minutes.

It’s widely accepted that Buddy Holly was the artist who best established the ‘classic’ set-up of two guitars, bass, and drums. He was among the first to write and record his own material, albeit many of his best known songs were covers or had been written by others for him. His final recording session, in NYC in October 1958, saw him work with an 18-piece ensemble composed of former members of the NBC Symphony Orchestra, one of America’s foremost radio orchestras until it disbanded in 1954. The half-day session proved to be truly groundbreaking, and of the fours songs completed on the day, True Love Ways, Raining In My Heart, and It Doesn’t Matter Anymore are included in this ICA.

It’s frightening that he was only 22 years old when that plane crashed.

JC

11 thoughts on “AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #285 : BUDDY HOLLY

  1. Buddy Holly’s songs are always a Reason to be Cheerful! This is my daily drive sorted out. Thanks JC.

  2. A truly talented man that, as DAM noted, always brings cheer. My own favourites:

    Learnin’ the Game (the cover by The Lemonheads is also worth seeking out).
    I’m Gonna Love You Too (see Blondie)
    Words of Love
    Rip It Up
    Love is Strange

    14 songs on JC’s ICA. 31 minutes running time. What’s not to like?

  3. Would have been interesting to see where he went. NYC was a pretty exciting place for a young couple in 1959, and Holly was just starting to broaden his musical horizons.
    +1 for Words of Love.

  4. I get it. Just include the whole thing so you can’t be criticized for what you missed. Well, I would have included Crying, Waiting, Hoping… so there. Ha! I have been to the crash site near Clear Lake, Iowa. Not much of a memorial but still an emotional moment. It was more interesting to see the Surf Ballroom where the Winter Dance Party was held.

  5. This was a very welcome surprise. I love discovering new (to me) artists and deep cuts, but sometimes you really can’t argue with a popular artist and bona fide classics. I’d second the additional suggestions and would also put forward Well… All Right! In all honesty, to pinch Martin’s comment, pretty much any 14-track selection would be solid gold. Nice one!

  6. Buddy Holly records were in the house when I was born. My Dad was a fan and I still have his old Coral label 7″ singles. I actually sketched out a Buddy ICA of my own some years back, but never got around to submitting it:

    1 That’ll Be the Day
    2 Peggy Sue
    3 Everyday
    4 Not Fade Away
    5 Rave On
    6 Take Your Time
    7 Think it Over
    8 Fool’s Paradise
    9 Well…All Right
    10 It Doesn’t Matter Anymore

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