The music of Buddy Holly will forever be timeless. Today’s artists still find his music and lyrics relevant. Today is his 75th birthday and a look back at just what he gave the music industry and one man in particular, seems most appropriate.
There are certain artists that just take their place among true stars of the music industry. Buddy Holly was one of those artists.
He was just 22 years old when he died an untimely death in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, seated alongside musicians Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson). Holly had just burst onto the music scene 18 months prior, alongside his band The Crickets, and had scored classics such as Peggy Sue, That’ll Be the Day, Not Fade Away, Maybe Baby and True Love Ways.
Today, his music is still being celebrated by artists such as legend Paul McCartney (who owns the rights to the Holly catalogue), Chris Issak, Stevie Nicks and Cee Lo Green (to name a few), in a Buddy Holly tribute album titled Rave On. Holly was also one of the inagural members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
James Henke, Vice President of exhibition and curatorial affairs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, stated, “He changed the look of rock and roll, and he changed the definition of exactly who could become a rock star. Buddy holly did not come across as a hotter-than-thou, sexier-than-thou performer. Nope, Buddy Holly was the average Joe.”
Today is Buddy Holly Day in the city of Los Angeles and Buddy will recieve a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It will be presented in the presence of his widow, Maria Elena Holly, alongside producer Peter Asher and legendary singer, Phil Everly.
While Holly changed the world with his music, he was directly responsible for a life-changing moment for one person, Louis Giordano. Lou, this writer’s father, was a struggling musician who happened to be on the same label as Holly, (Brunswick), back in the 1950s. Holly liked my dad and decided to give him a shot. While Holly and wife Maria Elena hunkered down in New York City, my dad worked with him in studio sessions (alongside Phil Everly) to record the tunes Stay Close to Me and Don’t Cha Know (the falsetto background voices behind Lou were provided by Holly and Everly).
While the song became a modest hit for dad, it never seemed to get the recognition it deserved, as there were a wealth of singer/songwriters in the mix at that time and he was just one in a million looking to make it. But he did get infamy at the hands of his association with Holly, having been one of only two artists outside of Holly’s band The Crickets that Holly worked with. Holly fans know of my dad. You might know of the other guy, country superstar Waylon Jennings.
Happy birthday Buddy, you and Dad celebrate together!
Archive Photo of Holly
Photo Credit Lou Giordano/Lucille Barilla