Welcome To AlbumLinerNotes.com
"The #1 Archive of Liner Notes in the World"

Your Subtitle text
Buddy Holly Collection

To download this collection from iTunes, click here:
 Buddy Holly - The Buddy Holly Collection 
To buy this CD from Amazon.com, click here:
 The Buddy Holly Collection

The Buddy Holly Collection

50 Classic Recordings

Buddy Holly's all-too-brief life was, indeed, the stuff of which legends are made. He was the archetypal 1950's youth whose passions were stirred by the rock 'n' roll revolution, and who, in the twinkle of a bespectacled eye, rose in rank from foot-soldiering follower to influential leader of that revolution. He was a singularly gifted singer, songwriter and guitarist who took the diverse musical strands that fueled his imagination and weaved from them a quintessentially singular new cloth. He was the carefree superstar who so perfectly personified his country's exuberant, hopeful spirit that he helped inspire a generation of musicians an ocean away to take up arms and start their own revolution. And he was the tragic young victim of a late night, wintry plane crash who became, in death, not only an everlasting symbol of his times, but, as well, an immortal figure of American popular culture. 

And make no mistake about it, Buddy Holly most certainly a legend. In the years since his death in February 1959 at the age of twenty-two, he's been the subject of statues, biographies, conventions, even a Hollywood movie. But while other frozen-in-time icons of the era, such as Marilyn Monroe or James Dean, might be best remembered for some well-defined image or overall attitude, what becomes this legend most is his remarkable body of work - a collection of songs and performances which, while more than meaningless, momentary teen diversion, has transcended all barometers of time and significance. Legendary music by a legendary artist - that's what pulsates through every track of The Buddy Holly Collection.

“Don’t change his style at all.” Those were the prophetic instructions of Nashville talent agent Eddie Crandall in a December 1955 telegram to Dave Stone, owner of radio station KDAV in Lubbock, Texas, asking that Stone arrange for the then-nineteen-year-old Buddy Holly to cut some original demos so that Crandall could try and get the young singer a recording contract. By all accounts, Charles Hardin "Buddy" Holley – born September 7, 1936, the youngest of Lawrence and Ella Holley's four children – had been performing, with style, as far back as anyone could remember. Buddy grew up surrounded by music from both within and without: His mother sang duets with her twin sister, his brothers Larry and Travis each played several instruments, and radio stations from Texas, Louisiana and nearby New Mexico brought everything from western swing and honky tonk to blues and rhythm 'n' blues into his musical consciousness. He'd made his first public appearance at age five, when, clutching his toy violin, he tagged along with his brothers to a local talent show, and wound up walking off with a five dollar prize for an impromptu version of "Down the River of Memories". By the time he was fifteen, he was playing guitar, mandolin and banjo, and performing locally with his best friend, singer and guitarist Bob Montgomery – the two of them writing songs, making homemade tapes, and dreaming of the day when "Buddy and Bob" would be a famous country duo like Johnnie and Jack or Charlie and Ira Louvin.

In September, 1953, the two teens, along with their bass player Larry Welborn, auditioned for Lubbock's brand-new radio station, KDAV, and were soon hosting their own half hour program each Sunday afternoon – a cheerful mix of country and bluegrass standards such as Hank Williams' "Hey, Good Lookin’” and Bill Monroe's "Footprints in the Snow," as well as original songs like Montgomery's lovelorn "Soft Place in My Heart". Within a year and a half, though, the first rumblings of that unholy alliance between white country and western with black rhythm 'n' blues known as rockabilly were beginning to cause tremors throughout the South, and with those tremors came a seismic shift in the Buddy and Bob show. "Western and Bop" was how they now billed their act-and most of the bopping was coming from Buddy, who'd been progressively leaning towards uptempo blues and R&B anyway, and who was now finding the heart-pumping rockabilly beat simply irresistible. 

In early 1955, the hip-shaking "Hillbilly Cat" himself, Elvis Presley, passed through Lubbock a few times, spreading the rockabilly gospel. Buddy and Bob opened for Elvis twice, and after witnessing Presley’s fire and brimstone, Holly was galvanized. When Elvis added a drummer to his group, Buddy got sixteen-year-old Jerry Allison to join his band. And when Buddy and Bob went to Wichita Falls to cut some demos, the material included not only covers of some of Elvis’ rockin’ repertoire, but also such hot-blooded originals as the Holly/Montgomery co-authored “Down the Line,” which, with its jumping rhythms and explosive rises and falls, was already indicating the adventurous new direction Buddy Holly’s music was taking.

By the end of 1955, when the aforementioned Eddie Crandall sent his telegram to Lubbock, Buddy and Bob were still technically a twosome, but with Montgomery more interested in straight ahead country, and with most of the excitement at their shows now being caused by Holly’s live-wire vocals and inventive electric guitar playing (a sample of the latter can be heard on the frenetic instrumental, “Holly Hop”), it was perhaps inevitable that when Decca Records’ Nashville office offered a contract, it was for Buddy’s services alone. At first Buddy demurred, but Bob told him it was probably all for the best. (The two, though, remained friends and songwriting collaborators.) In early 1956, with local guitarist Sonny Curtis and bassist Don Guess in tow (Allison and Welborn couldn’t come because of school), Buddy Holly took off for Nashville for his first official recording session.

With Owen Bradley producing, the January 26, 1956, three-hour session yielded four-tracks – among them Buddy’s debut single, “Blue Days, Black Nights,” and its flip side, “Love Me”. Written by KDAV deejay Ben Hall, “Blue Days, Black Nights” introduces the unmistakable Holly quaver, as Sonny Curtis’ tasteful country fills. On “Love Me,” co-authored by Holly and Lubbock songwriter Sue Parrish, Buddy runs through various emotions simply by different kinds of phrasing – the title’s little two-worded exhortation is underscored at different times with playful teasing, sensual sighing, and good old-fashioned guttural sexuality. The real gem of the session, though, is Luke McDaniel’s “Midnight Shift," a cautionary tale of love among the lusty which Holly infuses with a revealingly tough, bluesy read (listen to the way he exclaims "Honey!" midway through the song), counterpointed neatly by Curtis' sly, understated guitar work. 

It was shortly after his first Decca session that Buddy made a pivotal trek across the Texas border into nearby Clovis, New Mexico, where Norman Petty had recently opened a recording studio. Petty had already had some success as a songwriter and musician (his Norman Petty Trio, featuring Petty on organ and his wife, Vi, on piano, recorded instrumentals for Columbia Records), and he was looking to fashion another career as an independent producer. Charging by the song, not the hour, Petty quickly drew the attention of many area hopefuls – among them Holly, who wished to hone his recording skills before his next Decca session, scheduled for the summer. Throughout the winter of '56, Holly and his band recorded demos at Petty's studio-mostly fast-paced rockabilly numbers such as Don Guess' "Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight" (a kind of sideways cross between two Presley tunes, "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "Baby, Let's Play House"), and two of Buddy's songs, "Changing All Those Changes" and "I'm Gonna Set My Foot Down". On all three, one hears Texan Holly beginning to harness the Southeastern-born, Sun Records-bred rockabilly sound, and, in the process, making it his own. With Petty applying the appropriate Sun-ny echo on his voice, Buddy's assorted stutters ("I-I-I-should have reconsidered ... ") and hiccoughs ("I'm gonna set my foot right down on you-oo-ah-hoo-hoo") start to take on what would soon be trademark characteristics, and one senses a growing confidence in his charged, urgent vocals. 

That forthright confidence hit full stride on a trio of tracks from Buddy's July, '56, Decca sessions. Permitted by Bradley to play guitar; and accompanied solely by Curtis, Guess and Allison, Buddy defies convention and just goes for it. "Rock Around With Ollie Vee," propelled by writer Curtis' Scotty Moore-influenced guitar work and Allison's driving drums, finds Holly frantic with anticipation of an evening of music and romance, and, on lines like "I'm gonna shake it just a little in the middle of the night," he sounds out of breath – and very nearly out of control – from all the rockin' frenzy. Buddy's vocal on Guess' doo-wopping ballad, "Girl on My Mind," featuring drawn-out wordplay (“mind," "heart" and "love" all somehow windup with five syllables), and an amazing falsetto whoop at the end of the second bridge, carries its own passionate frenzy – and so does Holly's adroit guitar solo on the coy "Ting A Ling," a 1952 R&B hit by the Clovers that Buddy transforms into a tough, hard-rocking blues. 

While Holly and company were delighted with these tracks, Decca was not. None of the songs were deemed releasable, and when it came time for Buddy to return· to Nashville for a final session in November, he was told to leave his group – and his guitar – back home. Perhaps producer Bradley figured that by concentrating all of Holly's energies on vocals and leaving the music to seasoned session players, Buddy would give a more even-keeled (i.e., acceptable by Nashville standards) performance. That he certainly does on "Modern Don Juan"; but he also sounds hindered. Obviously, no stutters or hiccoughs were allowed to surface in the vocal, and Holly is all but done in by the predictable arrangement, best exemplified by Boots Randolph's trite saxophone runs and Grady Martin's uninspired guitar solo. Released as a single in December of '56, "Modern Don Juan" went nowhere fast – and when Decca declined to pick up the option on Holly's contract, it looked as if his career might be ending before it'd even begun. 

Buddy, however, refused to give up – even though 1956 ended not only with the loss of his recording contract, but also with the loss of both Curtis and Guess, who'd each decided to move on. Determinedly, Holly went back to Clovis. Nashville simply didn’t understand his music; Norman Petty did. Buddy and Jerry Allison took one of the unreleased songs they'd cut for Decca and played it for Petty. It was a song they'd built around a phrase John Wayne repeats over and over in the classic John Ford western, The Searchers – “That'll Be the Day"; a song brimming with battle-of-the-sexes ambiguity: "If we ever part, then I’ll leave you," swaggeringly promises the boy whose girl has threatened to leave him; a song that Decca producer Owen Bradley had flatly told Allison was "the worst song he'd ever heard"; a song that both Jerry and Buddy were convinced could be a hit. Petty agreed with them, and near the end of February 1957, with old hand Larry Welborn helping out on bass and Niki Sullivan coming aboard on rhythm guitar (Buddy was now handling all lead chores), "That’ll Be The Day," with its hook-like guitar intro, loping rhythms, and impressive big-beat sound, as committed to tape. When it was finished, they knew it was a hit. Now all they needed was a record company to put out. 

One of the reasons Buddy had put his trust in Petty was that he knew Petty had connections, and the producer didn’t disappoint him. He sent the tape of “That’ll Be The Day” to his music publisher, Murray Deutch, an executive at Peer-Southern, and Deutch in turn arranged for a meeting with Bob Theile, A & R director of Coral Records (ironically, a Decca subsidiary). Theile liked what he heard, and when the song was deemed to rough-sounding for Coral, Theile arranged to have it released on another Decca subsidiary, Brunswick. There was one problem, though: since the song had already been recorded for Decca, there could be legal obstacles. So it was that Buddy and Jerry decided to come up with a group name, so as to obscure the particulars of who was performing on the record. At the time, many Fifties groups were going by bird names- Orioles, Robins, Flamingos – but for some reason, they turned to insects and, after considering such names as the Grasshoppers and (legend has it) the Beetles, they settled on the Crickets. In May, the Crickets’ recording of “That’ll Be The Day,” backed by the bopping “I’m Lookin’ For Someone To Love” (highlighted by Buddy’s “Holly Hop”-derived guitar workouts), was released on Brunswick Records – and was soon zooming its way to Number One.

With the single’s success, Buddy became the proud possessor of not only a hit record, but to two separate recording contracts – one with Brunswick as a Cricket, and another as a solo artist for Coral. The four Crickets – Holly, Allison, Sullivan and new bassist Joe B. Mauldin – generally played on all the recordings regardless of which label they were released on. The main difference was a tendency for Crickets records to include background vocalists, and a tendency for Holly records to include experimental touches. (That experimentation is evident on Buddy’s very fist solo single “Words Of Love,” a twist on Mickey and Sylvia’s “Love Is Strange” featuring Spanish rhythms, heavily produced percussion, and a stunningly atmospheric double-tracked lead vocal.)

Still, whether they were intended as Crickets or Holly records, the one thing becoming strikingly obvious was the progress Buddy Holly was making as a songwriter. Both “Not Fade Away” and “Everyday” sport lyrics detailing unresolved romantic situations: In “Not Fade Away,” the singer is pursuing a girl who doesn’t seem to be interested – “My love’s bigger than a Cadillac/I try to show it and you drive me back” - but he believes his persistence will ultimately payoff: "I wanna love you night and day/You know my love not fade away." The narrator of "Everyday," meanwhile, is shy and tentative in expressing his feelings: "Everyone said, 'Go ahead and ask her,'" he notes, but clearly he hasn't as of yet. This affair hinges on hope, not pursuit – “Love like yours will surely come my way." Yet, on both tracks, the overall tone is altogether joyous, as if the desire has already been fulfilled. Buddy’s Tex-Mex guitar chording on “Not Fade Away,” juxtaposed against Allison’s cardboard box and hi-hat Bo Diddley beat, makes for a powerful synthesis underlining the lyrics’ aggressive stance, while “Everyday”’s remarkable combination of acoustic guitar, celesta and kneeslap percussion creates an intimate, almost childlike mood of innocence and anticipation.

Meanwhile, the Crickets as a whole were becoming a formidable instrumental combo. On “Tell Me How,” “Oh Boy,” and, most notably, “Ready Teddy,” the group constructs and maintains a very sharp edge, especially in the interplay between Holly’s guitar and Allison’s drums. That interplay reaches its apex on the immortal “Peggy Sue,” first written by Holly as “Cindy Lou,” but changed in honor of Allison’s girlfriend (and future wife). Here, producer Petty utilizes variances in volume and in-and-out echo effects to give Allison’s drum rolls a hypnotic power, and to form the perfect backdrop to Holly’s dynamic, galloping rhythm guitar solo – not to mention his unbridled, simultaneously playful/passionate/lusty vocal. (While we’re on the subject of Crickets, it should be noted that, if you listen very closely to the final seconds of “I’m Gonna Love You, Too,” you’ll hear an actual chirping cricket, one that somehow materialized in Petty’s studio on the day of recording, and made its presence known on the master tape. It should also be noted that this song, with its shimmering melody and jangling guitars, probably marks the spiritual start of British rock.)

Throughout the latter half of 1957, Buddy Holly and the Crickets (as they were now officially billed) toured the United States extensively. A booking mistake placed them on shows at several black theatres where they were the only white entertainers, but Holly’s physical, energetic showmanship, as well as a repertoire dotted with songs like Chuck Berry’s driving “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” and Chuck Willis’ haunting “It’s Too Late,” helped the group receive enthusiastic responses. In September, they embarked on an 80-city tour as part of an all-star show featuring such artists as Paul Anka, the Drifters, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Chuck Berry, LaVern Baker, and the Everly Brothers, who became fast friends with Buddy and his band.

The tour was so exhaustive – it was, literally, a new city every day – that when Brunswick told Petty they wanted to release a Crickets LP and needed songs to fill out the album, the producer hastily arranged for a late September session at the Officers Club Lounge at Tinkers Air Force Base in Oklahoma City during the rock caravan’s two-day stay in Oklahoma. It was there that the group recorded “Maybe Baby” – the ambivalent, somewhat aloof corollary to “That’ll Be The Day” (“Maybe baby, I’ll have you/Maybe baby, you’ll be true”) – as well as the Roy Orbison co-authored “You’ve Got Love” (especially notable for Allison’s syncopated snarework), and “Rock Me My Baby,” a brisk number written by Shorty Long and Susan Heather (to the tune of “Pop Goes The Weasel”!) that features a fine half-chorded, half-picked solo by Buddy and a rhythmic approach that presaged California surf music by a few good years.

The Crickets finished the year with an early December appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing “That’ll Be The Day” and “Peggy Sue,” with the innovative Holly wearing a microphone around his neck so he could move about freely. (The TV show marked Niki Sullivan’s last performance as a Cricket; physically drained and mentally frayed from the grueling roadwork, he quit the band on their return to Texas.) Holly, Allison and Mauldin found there was little rest for the weary, however. After the release of The “Chirping” Crickets album in November (an album hailed as one of the first rock ‘n’ roll LPs to be virtually devoid of filler), it was time to finish up the Buddy Holly “solo” album slated for spring of ’58. Before Christmas, they’d finished covers of Lieber and Stoller’s “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” (highlighted by Buddy’s now idiosyncratic chorded solo), C.W. Kendall’s bluesy “Little Baby” (that’s the author pounding out the boogieing piano solo), and Buddy and Jerry’s “Look At Me” (highlighted by Vi Petty’s light-fingered piano and Buddy’s now equally idiosyncratic hiccoughs). In New York at the end of January 1958, just before a second Ed Sullivan Show appearance, the group recorded the final track for the Buddy Holly album – the all-out rocker “Rave On,” written by Sonny West and Bill Tilghman (the same team responsible for “Oh Boy!”), and featuring one of Buddy’s greatest vocal performances.

The winter of ’58 found Buddy Holly and the Crickets making two separate trips abroad – first to Wales and Australia (with Paul Anka and Jerry Lee Lewis), an then, in March, a month-long headlining tour of England coinciding with the release of the Buddy Holly album. To the young British audiences, the Crickets, a self-contained guitar-bass-drums combo that wrote and sang their own material, and Holly, in his new thick-framed glasses, must have seemed the personification of every white kid’s rock ‘n’ roll dream. By the time they left England, no less than four of their songs were high on the charts – and kids like Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Graham Nash were figuring out “Peggy Sue” on their guitars.

Sometime between the two tours, the Crickets made it back to Clovis for more recording sessions, which yielded yet another bluesy "attitude" song – the tough-talking, angry-over-love "Think It Over" (" ... in you pretty little head"), as well as the sheepish, blinded-by-love "Fool's Paradise" ("I was lost – good and lost – in a fool's paradise"), and the patient, looking-for-love "Take Your Time" ("I can wait for all the love I know will be mine, if you take your time"). Musically, "Take Your Time" is a delightful blend of cross rhythms, from Holly's thick acoustic strumming to Allison's spare slapping on a cardboard box, to Petty's expansive Hammond organ chordings. Still, the most impressive track from this period is "Well ... AII Right". Atop an ingeniously concise arrangement pitting Holly's folkish guitar against Allison's trotting cymbals, Buddy delivers a simple, eloquent statement of youthful optimism and romantic idealism: "It's all right when people say/That those foolish kids can't be ready for the love that comes their way," sings Holly. "Well, all right/Well, all right/Our lifetime love will be alright." 

If "Well ... All Right" signaled yet another advance for Buddy Holly the songwriter, then his stirring version of Bobby Darin's "Early in the Morning" signaled another advance for Buddy Holly the singer. Recorded in New York, with a stellar supporting cast of musicians including R&B saxophone great Sam "The Man" Taylor, jazz drummer Panama Francis and a gospel vocal quartet, Holly gives a full-bodied, soulful performance, sailing forcefully through the call and response segments with the backup singers, and letting loose with some spontaneous-and eye-opening-wails and moans. 

After all of April and most of May was consumed by another all-star tour (this one promoted by pioneer rock 'n' roll deejay Alan Freed), Holly and the band returned to Clovis to record their next single, "It's So Easy". On this session, and on several more throughout the spring and summer of '58, the group was augmented by guitarist Tommy Allsup, a Tulsa native who was being used as a session player by Petty. Allsup's eclectic rock/country/jazz style meshed well with Buddy's, and so impressed was Holly by Allsup's inventiveness that he deferred lead guitar duties to Allsup for all the recordings they worked on together. Allsup's thoughtful, fluid guitar work informs both "It's So Easy" and the equally infectious "Heartbeat" (written by Buddy's old partner, Bob Montgomery) with a distinctively (for the time) modern sound. 

Sounding perhaps not quite as modern, but certainly very Everly Brothers-ish are "Wishing" and "Love's Made a Fool of You" – no accident, since the two songs, recorded as demos, were Holly-Montgomery compositions written specifically with Don and Phil Everly in mind. Unfortunately, song publishing interests prevented the Everlys from recording the songs, but Buddy's close-harmonied, double-tracked vocals, backed by Allsup's frisky guitar leads, gives an indication of what might have been. Also looking forward is "Reminiscing," the fine collaboration between Holly and King Curtis, the New York-based saxophonist whose solos were an integral part of so many great Coasters recordings in the 1950's. Holly had met Curtis at an Alan Freed show in the Brooklyn Paramount theatre in 1957, and, curious to see what a Northeastern, urban horn player and a Southwestern, rural guitarist could cook up together, he flew Curtis down to Clovis for a session. With its spicy, melding of blues, R&B and country flavors, "Reminiscing" again, demonstrates how intent Buddy was on exploring new stylistic possibilities, and how driven he was to expand his musical horizons as far they could be pushed. 

The last half of 1958 brought about a great many changes not just in Buddy Holly's music, but in the whole path of his life. On a trip to publisher Murray Deutch's office in June, Buddy met receptionist Maria Elena Santiago, and, it was love at first sight – before the day was out, he'd asked her to marry him, and she'd accepted. The two were wed less than two months later at Buddy's parent's house in Lubbock, and by the fall they had rented an apartment in New York's Greenwich Village. In October, Holly, Allison and Mauldin went on what was to be their final tour as a group; Buddy wanted everyone to move to New York, but Jerry and Joe B. were reluctant to abandon, their homes and friends. On October 28th, the trio were guests on Dick Clark's American Bandstand show, and it turned out to be the last public appearance of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Not long thereafter, in a stormy meeting at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, the split was made official. Jerry Allison and Joe Mauldin were staying in Lubbock, and would keep the Crickets name for future recordings; Buddy Holly was moving to New York, and would continue his career as a solo artist. 

On January 5, 1959, Coral released Buddy's newest single, "It Doesn’t Matter Anymore," backed by "Raining in My Heart". What it was a radical departure from his previous work was immediately noticeable by the accompaniment, which featured violins, violas, cellos – even a harp. And yet, even in these lush, overtly pop surroundings, Buddy Holly remained Buddy Holly – from the 'perfectly placed' signature hiccough at the end of the bridge on "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" (a song written expressly for him by Paul Anka), to the hoping-against-hope intimate sighs of "Raining In My Heart". On these tracks, as well as on the exquisitely arranged and performed "True Love Ways," one hears Holly again testing new waters – and, making them work his way.

Near the end of January, Buddy Holly took off for what was scheduled to be a three week tour of the Midwest. But the "Winter Dance Party," featuring Buddy atop a bill that including Ritchie "La Bamba” Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper" Richardson, and Dion and the Belmonts, ran into troubles almost immediately. The bus the musicians were traveling in broke down repeatedly, and even when it was running smoothly, there were hazardous road conditions to contend with due to a near constant barrage of ice and snow. Buddy and the backup musicians he'd hired for the tour – Tommy Allsup on guitar, Carl Bunch on drums, and on bass, one of Buddy's new friends, a Lubbock deejay and country music hopeful named Waylon Jennings – tried to make the best of it, but just before a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy decided to charter a four-seat private plane to take the group to the site of their next show in Moorehead, Minnesota. Going the 400-plus miles by air rather than on the ground would not only get them there faster, Buddy figured, but also give everyone time to get their rumpled stage clothes cleaned and pressed. When Valens and Richardson found out about the plane, they talked Allsup and Jennings into giving up their seats, and, at around one a.m., the three rock 'n' roll stars and pilot Roger Peterson took off into the snowy skies over Mason City. 

When the airport at Moorehead reported the plane missing the next morning, a search was undertaken. All too quickly, the twisted wreckage, and the dead bodies of all aboard, were found in a cornfield – less than ten miles from the Mason City airstrip. Ironically, there was a message waiting for Buddy at the Armory in Moorehead. It was from Jerry Allison and Joe Mauldin, who were trying to reach Holly to tell him they wanted to reunite the Crickets. A stunned, pregnant Maria Elena (she was to miscarry within weeks of Holly's death) flew to Lubbock, where Buddy's body was brought back for burial. On Saturday, February 7, 1959, after a service attended by over 1,000 people – including pall bearers Bob Montgomery, Sonny Curtis, Niki Sullivan, Phil Everly, Jerry Allison and Joe Mauldin. Buddy Holly was laid to rest at the Lubbock City Cemetery. 

Among the many musical treasures left behind by Buddy Holly (during the last three decades, virtually every studio, demo, and even homemade practice tape he ever made has surfaced in some form or other) was a tape containing a number of new songs that he'd recorded in his New York apartment during the two months before that fateful tour. These recordings, originally made with just voice and guitar, were prepared for posthumous release by various producers, including Norman Petty, and it is Petty's fairly sensitive treatments, using the talents of the very Crickets-like group, the Fireballs, that are featured here. Regardless of the quality of the overdubs, however, what emerges most from these songs is the impressive range of Holly's compositions. From the semi-nostalgic rockabilly redux feel of "Peggy Sue Got Married" and the haunting beauty of "Learning the Game," to the sprightly pop-rock of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" and "What to Do," it's quite evident that Buddy Holly was not (as some may have postulated after the release of the string-laden "It Doesn't Matter Anymore") abandoning rock 'n' roll in favor of more "adult" pop. What Buddy was trying to do, in retrospect, was what he was always trying to do: to keep breaking new ground, and, in so doing, to keep his music, his art, invigoratingly fresh and vibrant. To (as the man himself said) not fade away. Considering his immeasurable legacy – the Beatles, the Hollies, Eric Clapton, Linda Ronstadt and Fleetwood Mac are just a few of the countless scores of rock 'n' roll performers who've been profoundly influenced by his music – and considering the undeniable immediacy with which his music rings forth even today, Buddy Holly certainly accomplished his goal. 


Grateful acknowledgement is made to John Goldrosen and John Beecher's book, Remembering Buddy (Penguin Books, 1987), the source for much of the biographical Information used in the preparation of these notes. 

BUDDY HOLLY - Vocals-Guitars 
(all tracks, except as noted) 


(Bob Montgomery, Norman Petty, Buddy Holly) 
Recorded Wichita Falls, Texas, 1954/55
Overdubs recorded Clovis, New Mexico, June, 1964 
Bob Montgomery (vocal-guitar); Sonny Curtis (fiddle); probably Don Guess (bass); Additional accompaniment overdubbed by The Fireballs (for personnel, see end of credits) 
Originally released January 18, 1965, Coral LP 57463, "Holly In The Hills" 

(Bob Montgomery) 
Same recording date and personnel as "'Down The Line" except add Unknown (steel guitar) 
Originally released January 18, 1965, Coral LP 57463, "Holly In The Hills" 

(Ella Holley) 
Recorded Holley family garage, Lubbock, Texas, 1956
0verdubs recorded Clovis, August, 1968 
Jerry Allison (drums); Additional accompaniment overdubbed by The Fireballs.
Originally released January 20, 1969, Coral LP 57504, "Giant" 


(Ben Hall) 
Recorded Bradley's Barn, Nashville, January 26,1956
Buddy Holly (vocal only); Grady Martin (rhythm guitar); Sonny Curtis (lead guitar); Don Guess (bass) 
Originally released April 16, 1956, Decca single 29854 
Produced by Owen Bradley 

(Buddy Holly-Sue Parish)
Same recording date and personnel as "Blue Days" 
Originally released April 16, 1956, Decca single 29854 
Produced by Owen Bradley 

(Jimmy Ainsworth-Earl Lee) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Blue Days"
Originally released April 14, 1958, Decca LP 8707, "That'll Be The Day" 
Produced by Owen Bradley


(Don Guess) 
Recorded Clovis, January-April, 1956 
Sonny Curtis (lead guitar); Don Guess (bass); Jerry Allison (drums)
Originally released January 27, 1983, MCA LP 27059, "For The First Time Anywhere" 


(Buddy Holly) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Baby, Won't You Come Out Tonight" 
Originally released January 27,1983, MCA LP 27059, "For The First Time Anywhere"

(Buddy Holly) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Baby, Won't You Come Out Tonight" 
Originally released January 27, 1933,MCA LP 27059, "For The First Time Anywhere"


(Sonny Curtis) 
Recorded Bradley's Barn, Nashville, July 22,1956 
Buddy Holly (vocal-rhythm guitar); Sonny Curtis (lead guitar); I)on Guess (bass); Jerry Allison (drums) 
Originally released August 12, 1957, Decca single 30434 
Produced by Owen Bradley

(Don Guess) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Rock Around With Ollie Vee" 
Originally released April 14, 1958, Decca LP 8707, "That'll Be The Day"
/ also June 23, 1958, Decca single 30650 
Produced by Owen Bradley 


(Ahmet Ertegun) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Rock Around With Ollie Vee" 
Originally released April 14, 1958, Decca LP 8707, "That'll Be The Day" / Also June 23, 1958, Decca single 30650 
Produced by Owen Bradley 

(Don Guess-Jack Neal)
Recorded Bradley's Barn, Nashville, November 15, 1956 
Buddy Holly (vocal only); Grady Martin (lead guitar); Boots Randolph (tenor sax); Faris Coursey (drums); probably Owen Bradley (piano); Unknown (bass) 
Originally released December 24, 1956, Decca single 30166 
Produced by Owen Bradley 

(Chuck Berry) 
Recorded Clovis, late 1956 
Probably Larry Welborn (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); Unknown (second guitar) Originally released January 27, 1983, MCA LP 27059, "For The First Time Anywhere" 

(Norman Petty-Buddy Holly-Jerry Allison) 
Recorded Clovis, February 25, 1957 
Larry Welborn (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); 
Niki Sullivan, June Clark, Gary and Ramona Tollet (background vocals) 
Originally released May 27, 1957, Brunswick single 55009 

(Buddy Holly-Norman Petty)
Same recording date and personnel as "That'll Be The Day" 
Originally released May 27, 1957, 
Brunswick single 55009 


(Buddy Holly)
Recorded Clovis, April: 8, 1957 
Joe Mauldin (Bass); Jerry Allison (drums) 
Originally released June 20, 1957, Coral single 61852 

(Charles Hardin-Norman Petty) 
Recorded Clovis, May 27,1957
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); probably Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, Niki Sullivan (background vocals) 
Originally released October 27,1957, Brunswick single 55035 

(Charles Hardin-Norman Petty) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Not Fade Away" except add Norman Petty (celeste) and delete background vocals 
Originally released September 20, 1957, Coral single 61885 

(Charles Hardin-Jerry Allison-Norman Petty) 
Recorded Clovis, May-July, 1957 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); Niki Sullivan (rhythm guitar); The Picks (for personnel, see end of credits) (background vocals - overdubbed after original session) Originally released November 27,1957, Brunswick LP 54,033, "The "Chirping' Crickets" / Also February 12, 1958, Brunswick single 55053 

(Robert Blackwell-John Marascaleo) 
Same recording date and personnel as “Tell Me How" except ado Vi Petty (piano) and delete background vocals 
Originally released January 20, 1958, Coral LP 57210, "Buddy Holly" 

(Charles Hardin-Norman Petty) 
Recorded Clovis, June 29-July 1, 1957 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums)
Originally released February 5, 1958, Coral Single 61947 

(Sunny West-Bill Tilghman-Norman Petty) 

Same recording date and personnel as "Listen To Me” except add Niki Sullivan (rhythm guitar,); The Picks (background vocals – overdubbed later) 
Originally released October 27, 1957, Brunswick single 55035 

(Chuck Willis) 
Recorded Clovis, May-July, 1957 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); The Picks (background vocals – overdubbed later) 
Originally released November 27,1957, Brunswick LP 54038, "The 'Chirping' Crickets" 

(Jerry Allison-Norman Petty-Buddy Holly) 
Recorded Clovis, June 29-July 1, 1957 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums) 
Originally released September 20, 1957, Coral single 61885



(Joe Mauldin-Niki Sullivan-Norman Petty) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Peggy Sue" except add Cricket (chirping) 
Originally released January 5, 1957, Coral single 61947 

(Norman Petty-Buddy Holly-Jerry Allison) 
Recorded Clovis, May-July, 1957 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); Vi Petty (piano) 
Originally released February 20, 1958, Coral LP 57210, "Buddy Holly" 

(Buddy Holly-Norman Petty-C.W. Kendall) 
Same recording date and personnel as '"Look At Me" except delete Vi Petty (piano) and add C.W. Kendall (piano) Originally released February 20, 1958, Coral LP 57210, "Buddy Holly" 


(Johnny Wilson-Roy Orbison-Norman Petty) 
Recorded September 27-28, 1957, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 
Niki Sullivan (rhythm guitar); Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); The Picks (background vocals – added later in Clovis) 
Originally released November 27, 1957, Brunswick LP 54038, "The 'Chirping' Crickets" 

(Norman Petty-Charles Hardin) 
Same recording date and personnel as "You've Got Love” except Niki Sullivan plays second lead guitar
Originally released November 27, 1957, Brunswick LP 54038, “The 'Chirping' Crickets” / also February 12,1958, Brunswick single 55053 

(Susan Heather-Shorty Long) 
Same recording date and personnel as "'You've Got Love" 
Originally released November 27, 1957, Brunswick LP 54038, "The "Chirping' Crickets" 

(Jerry Lieber-Mike Stoller) 
Recorded Clovis, December, 1957 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums) 
Originally released February 20, 1958, Coral LP 57210, "Buddy Holly" 

(Sunny West-Bill Tilghman-Norman Petty) 
Recorded Bell Sound Studios, New York City, January 26,1958 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); Norman Petty (piano) 
Originally released February 20, 1958, Coral LP 57210, "Buddy Holly" / also April 20, 1958, Coral single 61985 
Produced by Norman Petty & Bob Thiele 

(Sonny LeGlaire-Horace Linsley-Norman Petty) 
Recorded Clovis, February, 1958 
Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums); Vi Petty (piano); 
The Roses (Bob Linville, Ray Bush, David Bigham) 
(background vocals - overdubbed later) 
Originally released May 27, 1958, Brunswick single 55072 

(Norman Petty-Buddy Holly) 
Same recording date as "Fool's Paradise" except delete The Roses (background vocals), Vi Petty (piano) and add Norman Petty (organ) 
Originally released April 20, 1958, Coral single 61985

(Norman Petty-Buddy Holly-Jerry Allison-Joe Mauldin) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Fool's Paradise" except delete Vi Petty (piano) and The Roses (background vocals) 
Originally released November 5, 1958, Coral single 62051 

(Buddy Holly-Norman Petty) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Fool's Paradise" 
Originally released May 27, 1958, Brunswick single 55072 

(Bobby Darin-Woody Harris) 
Recorded Pythian Temple, New York City, June 19, 1958 
Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Panama Francis (drums); The Helen Way Singers (background vocals); Unknown (piano, bass) 
Originally released July 5, 1958, Coral single 62006 
Produced by Dick Jacobs 

(Bob Montgomery-Norman Petty) 
Recorded Clovis, June-August, 1958 
Buddy Holly (vocal-rhythm guitar); Tommy Allsup (lead guitar); George Atwood (bass); Jerry Allison (drums) 
Originally released November 5, 1958, Coral single 62051 

(Buddy Holly-Norman Petty) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Heartbeat" except delete George Atwood (bass) and add Joe Mauldin (bass) and The Roses (background vocals) 
Originally released September 12, 1958, Brunswick single 55094 

(Buddy Holly-Bob Montgomery) 
Recorded Clovis, July-August, 1958 
Buddy Holly (vocal-rhythm guitar); Tommy Allsup (lead guitar); George Atwood (bass); Bo Clarke (drums) 
Originally released July 29,1963, Coral single 62369 

(Buddy Holly-Bob Montgomery) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Wishing" 
Originally released May 18, 1964, Coral LP 57450, "Showcase" 

(King Curtis) 
Recorded Clovis, September, 1958 
King Curtis (tenor sax); Joe Mauldin (bass); Jerry Allison (drums) 
Originally released August 20, 1962, Coral single 62329 


(Norman Petty-Buddy Holly) 
Recorded Pythian Temple, New York City, October 20 or 21, 1958 
Buddy Holly (vocal only); Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax); Orchestra directed by Dick Jacobs 
Originally released April 11, 1960, Coral LP 57326, "The Buddy Holly Story, Volume 2" / also June 20, 1960, Coral single 62210 
Produced by Dick Jacobs 


(Paul Anka) 
Same recording date and personnel as "True Love Ways" except delete Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax) 
Originally released January 5, 1959, Coral single 62074 
Produced by Dick Jacobs

(Boudleaux Bryant-Felice Bryant) 
Same recording date and personnel as "True Love Ways" except delete Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor sax) 
Originally released January 5, 1959, Coral single 62074 
Produced by Dick Jacobs 

(Buddy Holly) 
Recorded Buddy & Maria Elena Holly's New York apartment, January, 1959 
/ Overdubs recorded probably October, 1963, Clovis 
Buddy Holly (vocal-acoustic guitar); The Fireballs (instrumental and vocal backing overdubbed), plus either Vi Petty or Norman Petty (keyboards)
Originally released April 18, 1966, Coral 57477, “The Best of Buddy Holly” 

(Buddy Holly) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Peggy Sue Got Married," Originally released 1979, MCA LP 6-80,000, "The Complete Buddy Holly" (First worldwide release: January, 1965, Coral U.K. e.p. 2076, "Buddy Holly Sings") 


(Buddy Holly) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Peggy Sue Got Married" 
Originally released April18, 1966, Coral LP 57477, "The Best Of Buddy Holly" 

(Buddy Holly) 
Same recording date and personnel as "Peggy Sue Got Married" 
Originally released January 18, 1965, Coral LP 57463, "Holly In The Hills" 

All songs produced by Norman Petty except where otherwise indicated. 

All songs listed as recorded in Clovis were recorded in Norman Petty's Studio. 

The Picks
 (background vocals): Bill Pickering; John Pickering; Bob Lapham 

The Fireballs: George Tomsco (guitar); Keith McCormack (rhythm guitar); Stan Lark or Lyn Baily (bass); Doug Roberts (drums) 

Compiled by Billy Altman and Andy McKaie 
Reissue produced by Andy McKaie
Art Direction: Vartan Design: DZN 
Photo Research: Geary Chansley 
Photo Courtesies: Showtime Archives (Toronto): 
Front Cover, pg. 7, pg. 9 (John Beecher), 
pg. ll-far left & far right (Colin Escott), pg. 27. 

CD label & album cover art: Mark Matlock 
Label art-back cover, courtesy: Dr. Demento/Mark Matlock 
Remainder of photos courtesy: MCA Archives 

Digitally remastered from original masters by Erick Labson, MCA Music Media Studios, No. Hollywood, CA 
Great Input: Billy Altman 

Thanks to Randy Aronson, Ken Batchelor, Helene Blue, Lynn Kerman, Jim Moreno, Michelle Mosler and Matt Tunia 

Not Fade Away…

MCA © & (P) 1993 MCA Records, Inc. Universal City, CA 91609. Distributed by Uni Distribution Corp. WARNING: All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws. 
Website Builder