In 1956 Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis went to the movies to check out the John Wayne feature The Searchers. In the film Wayne, when given predictions by other characters, would reply with the catchphrase “That’ll be the day.”
Holly suggested to Allison they write a song together. Allison mimicked the Duke when he responded with “That’ll be the day.”
The two did write a song. They called it “That’ll Be the Day.” At age 20, Holly had his first hit record when that song went to #1 in 1957.
The following year a teenage British combo who called themselves The Quarreymen recorded “That’ll Be the Day” as a demo disc. The group, whose members included John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, later changed the name of their band. Inspired by the name of Holly’s group, The Crickets, to whom the single “That’ll Be the Day” was credited, The Quarreymen chose another insect, a beetle, altering the spelling to the more musical Beatles.
Buddy Holly racked up seven top forty hits before his death in a plane crash at age 22. Despite a very brief recording career, his influence was massive.
Today is the 79th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s birth. Here are nineteen gems from his catalogue, plus one song named after him.
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