Real name: Charles Hardin Holley
Buddy entered his first talent contest at the age of five. At eight he was studying piano and violin, but soon switched to acoustic guitar. By the time he was thirteen, he and his friend Bob Montgomery were a popular local duo. They called their music "Western Bop" and they were increasingly in demand. At a rockshow in Lubbock that featured Bill Haley and the Comets, Buddy and Bob opened the show. A scout for Decca saw them and signed Buddy to the label. The first few cuts were not encouraging so Buddy returned to Lubbock to work further on his material. He continued recording with a new group he formed called the Crickets at studios in Clovis, New Mexico, which were owned by Norman Petty.
In early 1957, they decided to record a song that Buddy and drummer Jerry Allison had written called "That'll be the day". Petty then sent the tapes to Roulette records in New York, where they were turned down. The label had already signed Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen from the same area of Texas. The tapes were then sent to Peer-Southern, a New York publishing house, who forwarded them to Bob Thiele at Brunswick records. Thiele liked what he heard. He signed the group and released the recording in June 1957. In a short time it became a national hit. With Jerry Allison (drums), Nicki Sullivan (rhythm guitar), and Joe Mauldin (bass), Buddy Holly and his Crickets recorded "Oh boy" a few months later and it became their second hit later that fall. Buddy recorded "Peggy Sue", Allison's girl friend's name, and it was released as Buddy's solo recording debut on Coral records. By late 1957, "Oh boy" by the Crickets and "Peggy Sue" by Buddy were challenging each other on the charts. In the summer of 1958, while playing in New York, Buddy went to see his publishers Peer-Southern, where he met Maria Elena Santiago. After two weeks of dating, Buddy married her in Lubbock, August 15, 1958. After the wedding they moved to New York City.
During the fall of that year, Buddy terminated his relationship with Norman Petty and the Crickets. He recorded a few more songs including "Raining in my heart" and Paul Anka's "It doesn't matter anymore." In January 1959, he began a tour for General Artists Corporation with Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and Dion & the Belmonts. They traveled by bus throughout the tour. On Monday, February 2, the show just finished playing Clear Lake, Iowa, and Buddy decided to charter a plane to their next engagement in order to save some time. Valens and the Big Bopper decided to go with him. The next morning, Tuesday, February 3, the plane crashed on take-off, killing all the occupants of the plane. The crash ended the career of this twenty-two-year-old singing sensation who created a sound that completely took the music world by storm in the late fifties.
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