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buddy holly :: Blog

Interview with Bill Pinkney of the Drifters

Friday, September 7: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bill Pinkney of the Drifters reflects on his time with Buddy Holly

September 7, 2012 would have been Buddy Holly's 76th birthday. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Holly recorded a catalog of songs – "Rave On," "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day," "Oh Boy!" and "Maybe Baby," among them – that are rock and roll standards. He was born Charles Hardin Holley (later amended to "Holly") on September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas, and learned to play guitar, piano and fiddle at an early age. Holly was an innovator who wrote his own material and was among the first to exploit such advanced studio techniques as double-tracking at Norman Petty’s recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico. He pioneered and popularized the now-standard rock-band lineup of two guitars, bass and drums. In February 1955, Holly opened a show at the Lubbock Youth Center for Elvis Presley, an event that hastened his conversion from country and western to rock and roll. ("We owe it all to Elvis,” he later said). Between August 1957 and August 1958, Holly and the Crickets charted seven Top 40 singles. While the wealth of material he recorded in that short time made a major and lasting impact on popular music, it ...


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Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Peggy Sue"

Friday, June 29: 12:29 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Buddy Holly and the Crickets' "Peggy Sue" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

On Monday, July 1, 1957, Buddy Holly and the Crickets set up their equipment in Clovis, New Mexico, at the Norman Petty Recording Studio to lay down the songs “Peggy Sue,” “Oh Boy,” “Listen to Me” and “I’m Gonna Love You Too.” During the session, they unwittingly had a special guest – a real cricket had found its way into the echo chamber and ended up on two of the songs, “Listen to Me” and “I’m Gonna Love You Too.” All attempts at trapping the serendipitous cricket had failed, so they kept the tape rolling.

Holly had brought a song called “Cindy Lou” to Clovis to record. This song eventually became the hit “Peggy Sue.” Originally, Holly composed the song using the name “Cindy,” after his sister Pat’s small daughter; and “Lou,” after Pat’s middle name. “Cindy Lou” was already being featured in the Cricket’s stage set, played to a Latin beat. When the Crickets began rehearsal for the songs, drummer J.I. Allison warmed up with a hard, pounding double paradiddle beat with no cymbals on his snare drum. Holly liked the sound and suggested that they use it on “Cindy Lou” and the ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

The Stars Pay Tribute to Buddy Holly

Friday, September 9: 1 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison
Musicians and fans celebrate Buddy Holly's 75th birthday

Seventy-four years after Buddy Holly's birth, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee received a Hollywood birthday bash befitting his status as one of the entertainment world's brightest stars. On what would’ve been his 75th birthday, Buddy Holly was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star is located directly in front of the Capitol Records building on Vine Street, situated next to John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (Paul McCartney’s star space is reserved but not yet realized). Holly never recorded for Capitol, but he and The Crickets were a direct influence on the Beatles – the literal root and inspiration for their insect namesake and sound – which makes the location poignantly appropriate.

Fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and rock pioneer Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon and actor Gary Busey, who portrayed Holly in the biographical film, The Buddy Holly Story, paid homage to their friend and inspiration, each giving moving speeches at the unveiling of Holly’s Hollywood star. Just before the star was revealed, Holly’s widow Maria Elena Holly gave a touching speech speaking directly to his fans ...


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Crossroads Guitar Festival brings guitar legends and their contemporaries together

Monday, June 28: 5:17 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke

I was fortunate to spend this past weekend in Chicago, where Eric Clapton held his third Crossroads Guitar Festival on Saturday. The shows benefit Clapton’s Crossroads Centre, a rehab facility in Antigua, and they are a virtual who’s who of great guitar players. This year’s festival, at Toyota Park, featured performances by everyone from B.B. King and Buddy Guy, to Ron Wood, ZZ Top, Jeff Beck and Johnny Winter, to such relative newcomers as John Mayer, Johnny Lang and Citizen Cope.

Terry Stewart, the Rock Hall’s President and CEO, was also there, and we were able to spend time with some of our inductees, as well as with Larry Yellen, a filmmaker who works on our annual induction videos, and other folks from the music business.

The show always features one-of-a-kind performances, and some of my favorites this year included Robert Cray’s set with Jimmie Vaughan and Hubert Sumlin, ZZ Top’s take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Buddy Guy’s performances with Ron Wood and Johnny Lang. John Mayer once again displayed his virtuosity on the guitar, backed by Pino Palladino on bass and Steve Jordan on drums, and Derek Truck ...


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The Frankie Sardo Story

Thursday, February 11: 1:45 p.m.
Posted by Shelby Morrison

Frankie Sardo is not a rock and roll star. He never sold a million albums or reached the top of the charts. He is not a household name. However, he is a vital character in one of the most important chapters of rock and roll history. Frankie Sardo was the opening act for the 1959 Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, which was the last concert performance for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The three music legends were killed when their plane crashed following their performance at the Surf Ballroom on February 3, 1959. A little over 51 years after that fateful night, Frankie Sardo returned to the Surf Ballroom for the first time.

In a continuing partnership with the Surf Ballroom, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum co-sponsored a luncheon with the Surf as part of the Winter Dance Party event on February 6, 2010, in Clear Lake. The luncheon featured a one-on-one interview with Frankie Sardo. This interview was the first time Sardo has publicly spoken about his memories and stories surrounding the tour.

Sardo never wanted to be a rock and roll star. He was invited ...


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