31 Facts About Buddy Holly

1. Charles Hardin Holley, known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer and songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll.

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2. Buddy Holly was born to a musical family in Lubbock, Texas during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings.

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3. Buddy Holly opened for Presley three times that year; his band's style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll.

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4. Unhappy with Bradley's musical style and control in the studio, Buddy Holly went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, and recorded a demo of "That'll Be the Day", among other songs.

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5. Buddy Holly made his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1958 and soon after toured Australia and then the UK.

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6. Buddy Holly is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums.

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7. Buddy Holly was of mostly English and Welsh descent, and had small amounts of Native American ancestry as well.

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8. Buddy Holly was baptized a Baptist, and the family were members of the Tabernacle Baptist Church.

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9. The elder Holley brothers performed in local talent shows; on one occasion, Buddy Holly joined them on violin.

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10. At age 11, Buddy Holly took piano lessons but abandoned them after nine months.

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11. Buddy Holly switched to the guitar after he saw a classmate playing and singing on the school bus.

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12. Buddy Holly was further encouraged after seeing Elvis Presley perform live in Lubbock, whose act was booked by Pappy Dave Stone of KDAV.

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13. On January 26, 1956, Buddy Holly attended his first formal recording session, which was produced by Owen Bradley.

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14. Now playing lead guitar, Buddy Holly achieved the sound he desired.

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15. Buddy Holly booked them for appearances in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and New York City.

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16. Buddy Holly was impressed by Allsup and invited him to join the Crickets.

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17. Buddy Holly planned collaborations between soul singers and rock and roll.

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18. Buddy Holly wanted to make an album with Ray Charles and Mahalia Jackson.

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19. At the recommendation of the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly hired lawyer Harold Orenstein to negotiate his royalties.

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20. Buddy Holly produced the single "Jole Blon" and "When Sin Stops" for Jennings.

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21. Buddy Holly became increasingly interested in the New York music, recording, and publishing scene.

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22. Buddy Holly vacationed with his wife in Lubbock and visited Jennings's radio station in December 1958.

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23. Buddy Holly bought his first Fender Stratocaster, which became his signature guitar, at Harrod Music in Lubbock for $249.50.

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24. Fender Stratocasters were popular with country musicians; Buddy Holly chose it for its loud sound.

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25. Buddy Holly played his first Stratocaster, a 1954 model, until it was stolen during a tour stop in Michigan in 1957.

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26. Buddy Holly became "one of the most influential pioneers of rock and roll" who had a "lasting influence" on genre performers of the 1960s.

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27. In 1980, Grant Speed sculpted a statue of Buddy Holly playing his Fender guitar.

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28. Buddy Holly was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

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29. Mick Jagger saw Buddy Holly performing live in Woolwich, London, during a tour of England; Jagger particularly remembered Buddy Holly's performance of "Not Fade Away" – a song that inspired Keith Richards, who modeled his early guitar playing on the track.

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30. The name of the British rock band the Hollies is often claimed as a tribute to Buddy Holly; according to the band, they admired Buddy Holly, but their name was mainly inspired by sprigs of holly in evidence around Christmas 1962.

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31. Buddy Holly was depicted in a 1989 episode of the science-fiction television program Quantum Leap titled "How the Tess Was Won"; Buddy Holly's identity is only revealed at the end of the episode.

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