It was 50 years ago today…the day the music died…such phrases are being bandied around today as we mark the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly. Although one of the most influential names in the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, the Holly story has been strangely neglected on a mainstream level – there have been no big budget movies, no posthumous cult of personality, no revivals. Yet the music that Buddy Holly made in his unbelievably short time as a recording artist remains some of the most vital of all time. So, where to start?
Unsurprisingly there’s a brand new compilation on offer to mark the occasion, ‘The Very Best Of Buddy Holly And The Crickets’ . A double CD weighting in at fifty tracks, you do get the felling that they’re stretching things somewhat, throwing in iffy live tracks and songs finished off after his death. The truth is that there are countless collections out there and as long as you get the key tracks you can’t go wrong.
The lack of a major movie of Holly’s life remains a mystery, especially given the recent trend for music bio-pics. The one celluloid offering though was a fine one, 1978’s ‘The Buddy Holly Story’, for which Gary Busey won an oscar nomination. There’s also ‘The Real Buddy Holly Story’, produced by long time fan Paul McCartney (who also bought the rites to Holly’s songwriting catalogue. The best of the many books on offer comes from famed music biographer Philip Norman, whose ‘Buddy‘ is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in the period.
And if you’re wondering just why peope are making such a fuss over all this, well….