50 years since the music died: Buddy Holly

February 4, 2009

Buddy Holly died 50 years ago, February 3.  NPR gives the basics:

Morning Edition, February 3, 2009 – Fifty years after his death at 22, rock ‘n’ roll founding father Buddy Holly is still cool. On Feb. 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, along with J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens, died in a plane crash while touring the Midwest. Holly would have been 72 by now — and probably still rocking and rolling. Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Elvis Costello have all paid tribute to Holly as a major influence.

But the music itself wasn’t his only contribution. Holly was among the first artists to use the studio as an instrument: He spent days crafting songs and experimenting with techniques that were still new in the recording business.

History is an odd business.  Holly’s old hometown is Lubbock, Texas.  Lubbock, itself in an odd, welcomed Prairie Renaissance, features a Rock and Roll Museum and a set of Buddy Holly glasses that would dwarf the Colossus at Rhodes.  But his family is at odds with the city on the use of his name on local streets and promotional materials.

Sculpture of Buddy Hollys glasses, at the Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock - Roundamerica.com

Sculpture of Buddy Holly's glasses, at the Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock - Roundamerica.com

Waylon Jennings, probably the most famous survivor in Holly’s old band, died in 2002 (on February 13).  Who is left to study Holly and his work, to keep the flame of historic remembrance alive?

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