Buddy Holly was born, Charles Hardin Holley, in Lubbock, Texas in 1936. His mother just called him Buddy. During High School, he put together a band called “The Tunes.” They played various places wherever they could get work and when Buddy graduated, he knew he wanted to perform music as a living. Then Bill Haley and the Comets came to town and Buddy and his band managed to get the job of opening for them. This was the break he had been looking for.
Eddie Crandall had organized the concert and he worked for Decca Records. He liked Buddy and his band so much that he offered tham a recording contract. When the contract was written up, Decca misspelled Buddy’s name as Holly instead of Holley as he was born. So, from then on he was known as Buddy Holly.
Their first singles for Decca were “Blue Days and Blue Nights” and “Modern Don Juan” which did not do much at all. Decca released “That’ll Be the Day,” under the name Buddy Holly and the Tunes, which Buddy wrote with his band mate, Jerry Allison, but it was a much slower version of the song we know today and it didn’t do well either. The line is taken from the movie The Searchers which stars John Wayne. Apparently he says “That’ll Be the Day” several times throughout the movie. In January of 1957, Buddy’s contract with Decca expired so he approached Roulette Records who had recorded Buddy Knox’s “Party Doll.” Buddy felt his sound most resembled Buddy Knox and I think he was right.
Norman Petty had produced “Party Doll,” so Buddy asked him to help on “That’ll Be the Day” and so, Petty gets writing credit on the song. They peddled the song to several record labels and finally Coral Records picked it up and “That’ll Be the Day” was released. Since Decca still owned rights to the song, it was released as being performed by The Crickets. Buddy Holly’s name was not mentioned at first. That would soon change. It spend one week at number one during the week of September 23, 1957 and set Buddy Holly on a three year journey and an unfortunate death that would go down in music history.
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