Sunday, September 1, 2013

Buddy Holly: Peggy Sue

I was alive the day the music died, but I didn’t start listening to the kind of music that Frank Sinatra called “the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear.” Sinatra was referring to the kind of music that Buddy Holly played. I was listening to that kind of music when Don MacLean came up with American Pie.

Although Buddy Holly didn’t single-handedly invent rock and roll, there are many, many musicians who credit him with being one of the most influential people in shaping rock and roll. One of his bandmates recalls that from the day after they opened for Elvis, they transformed their musical style from country to rock. When Holly’s band, the Crickets, chose their name, apparently bugs were in fashion for band names and there were a lot of crickets in the part of Texas they came from. One source says that they considered “the Beetles” but passed on that choice.

Peggy Sue was originally titled Cindy Lou for two of the women in Buddy’s life, but the name was changed following a bet with drummer Jerry Allison, whose girlfriend was named Peggy Sue. The Crickets were one of the first bands to have 2 guitars, a bass player (Joe Mauldin) and drums. In this clip, they are down to three: in fact, rhythm guitarist Niki Sullivan left the band after a year or so.


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