Buddy Holly and the Crickets

Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Buddy Holly's recording career lasted just three short years, yet during that time he produced some of the most enduring hits of the rock 'n' roll era. Adverts, movies and TV shows have kept classics like That'll Be The Day,

Heartbeat and Peggy Sue in the public ear for more than 40 years after his premature death in an air crash. The musical The Buddy Holly Story is still packing theatres across the UK after a decade of success.

Born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas, in 1936, the teenage Buddy became infatuated with blues and country music.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets

 He played guitar with several local country outfits in the early 50s, before a local promoter managed to land him a solo contract with Decca Records in early 1956.

Decca's attempts to market Holly as a country star met with little success, leaving two fabulously rare singles for collectors to track down.

 Blue Days, Black Nights was released in the US on 45" and 78" April 1956, and sank without trace. Even more rare is the UK version on the Brunswick label, which followed in July. Today US copies fetch £400 for 45"s and £100 for 78"s, while UK copies can realise anything up to £800

Buddy Holly and the Crickets

or £200 respectively.

Ironically it was an out-take from his Decca sessions that would launch the bespectacled singer into super stardom. That'll Be The Day, re-recorded in February 1957 with producer Norman Petty, was an instant classic, which still sounds fresh and vital today. Buddy and his band were hastily named "The Crickets" and the single was put out on Brunswick records.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets
By May, That'll Be The Day had reached No.l in the US charts, and repeated its achievement in the UK two months later, where it appeared on the Vogue Coral label.

Attempting to capitalise on this success, Holly was also groomed as a solo act. But his first single, Words of Love, flopped in the US after it was beaten to the punch by a cover version, and was not released in the UK. As a result, the single is one of Holly's rarest original releases, with US copies worth £250 or £150.

But this was a minor setback, as the next Holly solo single, Peggy Sue, made the top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic.

For the next 12 months Holly enjoyed a run of success on his own as well as with the Crickets, as singles like Oh Boy, Maybe Baby and Rave On raced up the charts.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets
During the first half of 1958, Buddy Holly and the Crickets consolidated their success by touring constantly, including a visit to the UK, and making several appearances on US television.

Two albums appeared, showcasing "The Chirping Crickets" and "Buddy Holly", both of which are worth about £80, if they are in mint condition and have original Vogue Coral labels inside Coral sleeves (the company must have been using up old stock).

But by autumn things were starting to go sour. Holly's solo single Early in the Morning struggled to make the top 20, while the follow up, Heartbeat - now his most famous tune - barely scraped the charts.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Holly split with both the Crickets and producer Norman Petty to pursue a more pop-orientated     style. Needing to tour to pay the bills, Holly formed a new backup band and in early 1959 headed out on The Winter Dance Tour Party of the Midwest.

On February 3rd Buddy, along with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, chartered a plane to take them from Mason City, Iowa, to the next gig at Moorhead, Minnesota. The aircraft crashed shortly after take off, killing all on board.

The wave of public grief following Buddy's death at the age of just 22 ensured his final single, the classic It Doesn't Matter Anymore, topped the UK charts two months after the tragic crash. Fans over the .world mourned. Buddy Holly's popularity

Buddy Holly and the Crickets Singles , prices UK 2015

 Blue Days Black Nights/Love Me (July 1956): £8(00/£200 (Brunswick 05581)

That'll Be The Day/I'm Looking For Someone To Love
(Sept 1957): £20/£25 (Vogue Coral Q72279)

Peggy Sue/Everyday
(Nov 1957): £75/£150 (Vogue Coral Q72293)

Oh Boy!/Not Fade Away (Dec 1957): £15/£20 (Coral Q 72298)

Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Listen To Me/I'm Gonna Love You Too(Feb 1958): £15/£25 (Coral Q72288)

Maybe Baby/Tell Me How (March 1958): £15/£25 (Coral Q72307)

Rave On / Take Your Time (June 1958): £15/£25 (Coral Q72325)

Think It Over/fool's Paradise (July 1958): £15/£30 (Coral Q72329)

Early In The Morning/Now We're One(Aug 1958): £18/£30 (Coral Q72333)

It's So Easy / Lonesome Tears (Oct 1958): £15/£40 (Coral Q72343)

Heartbeat/Well... All Right(Nov 1958): £15/£50 (Coral Q72346)

It Doesn't Matter Anymore/Raining In My Heart(Feb 1959): £10/£50 (Coral Q72360)

NOTE: Values quoted are for 45 "s/78 "s. Original 45 "s were issued with triangular centres.
Buddy's rarest UK single is his debut 'Blue Days Black Nights', now worth up to £.800

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