Buddy Holly: Learning the Game

Spencer Leigh

Buddy Holly died in 1959. He was just 22 years old. Don McLean called that fatal day ‘The Day the Music Died’. But Buddy’s music hasn’t died and he left behind a wonderful legacy. With his animated voice, trademark black glasses, Fender Stratocaster and inimitable songs, Buddy and his music live on and continue to influence subsequent generations of musicians. His solitary UK tour was crucial to the British beat explosion of the early 1960s, spawning the Beatles, the Hollies and the Rolling Stones. Without Buddy Holly, today’s popular music would, almost certainly, be radically different. Spencer Leigh discusses the importance of this legendary figure through his music, his life, his image and his legacy. There are fascinating interviews with those who knew him best – his young widow Maria Elena, his band members the Crickets, Des O’Connor who compered his 1958 tour as well as musicians, songwriters, friends, fans and many others who worked with Buddy. It is inevitable that we remember the giants: Elvis, the Beatles, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, but Buddy Holly’s death enables us also to acknowledge the less well-known musicians who died with him, 17-year-old Ritchie Valens and the outlandish Big Bopper. What emerges from Spencer’s research is an insight into Buddy’s short, impulsive life as well as an account of his continuing legacy. Packed with facts, including US and UK discographies, this book provides an invaluable wealth of information.

McNidder and Grace 384 pages

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