Happy Birthday, Buddy Holly

Publish Date
Monday, 7 September 2015, 12:50PM

Had he lived, Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holly would celebrate his 79th birthday today.

He was born in Lubbock on Sept. 7, 1936. Stardom for Holly arrived in 1957 with the release of “That’ll Be the Day,” but would last just two short years.

He delivered his final show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly, 22, died in the crash of a private, single-engine airplane shortly after takeoff deep into the freezing night of Feb. 3, 1959 - an event that inspired Don McLean's huge hit "American Pie" - the day the music died.

Also losing their lives that night: Ritchie Valens, 17, whose hits included “La Bamba”; Jiles Perry (J.P.) Richardson Jr., 28 - best known as The Big Bopper with radio hit “Chantilly Lace”; as well as pilot Roger Peterson, 21.

Despite such a brief career, Holly was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his influence has lasted many, many years.
Here the song that started it all: Buddy Holly & His Crickets performing "That'll Be The Day" on the Ed Sullivan Show on December 1, 1957