Song of the day 9/9

Posted: September 9, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

In honor of what would have been his 75th birthday earlier this week and his recent star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, today’s song was written and performed by Charles Hardin Holley, or Buddy Holly. From the album of the same name, “That’ll Be the Day” was released in May of 1967, with the track “I’m Looking For Someone to Love” on the “B” side.

A trip to the cinema (one of my other loves) to see John Wayne in The Searchers inspired the song. Wayne’s character uttered the phrase multiple times in the western.

Interestingly, it is the second recorded version that is the most popular. This version was recorded 8 months later and credited to The Crickets because of contractual obligations to the Decca record label. Once the single was released on the Brunswick label (a subsidiary of Decca) Holly was signed to an additional contract allowing the songs with The Crickets to be released on Brunswick and his solo material to be released on Coral records.

This song is listed as number 39 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, a list I have referenced before. Holly is listed at number 13 of the greatest artists of all time, in a list compiled by the same magazine.

Holly’s rockabilly style was directly inspired by Elvis and Chuck Berry and Holly was frequently utilized to bring together multi-racial audiences.

Even though Holly’s fame only lasted a year and a half, Buddy Holly’s influence is easy to see in modern music, but there are a few things you may not have known about Holly’s influence. Holly is responsible for the common, two guitar, drums and bass template seen in modern music. Holly is considered the first “four-eyes” of rock and roll and his signature glasses inspired the most famous, Sir Elton John. “That’ll Be the Day” was also the first song recorded by The Quarrymen, a British group you Beatles fans might recognize as the band that eventually became the “Fab Four” and Lennon and McCartney cited Holly as a primary influence on The Beatles, even the band name was a tribute to Holly’s Crickets. Holly was among the first group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

In January of 1959, Holly was offered a spot on the Winter Dance Party tour. A three week set of dates in the Midwest. The tour was not what one would expect for stars such as Dion and the Belmonts, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Due to the poor travel accommodations, Holly chartered a plane to fly to the next date and invited Valens and Richardson to accompany him. Sadly, the plane crashed shortly after takeoff, leaving Holly’s wife a widow at six weeks pregnant. There is a story of an infamous exchange between Holly and band mate Waylon Jennings, after Jennings was asked to give up his seat on the plane, he jokingly told Holly “I hope your ol’ plane crashes”

Thanks to Don McLean’s song “American Pie”, February 2, 1959 is forever known as “The day the music died”

Stop listening to Buddy Holly? That’ll be the day!
See ya on the “B” side.

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