Today we visit Lubbock, Texas home of the legendary Buddy Holly.  While his career was brutally short, his music is eternal.bh1

Buddy Holly was born Charles Hardin Holley on September 7th, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He would later drop the final ‘e’ on his name because Holly looked better on the marquee. To this day this fact still confuses fans who visit his grave as the headstone still has the original spelling on his name.  Like Elvis Presley, Holly was born into a family who loved music, and Buddy Holly listened to a lot of R&B, country and gospel records which strongly infused his style.


Holly and a friend of his from high school were performing locally when they got their first big break and opened for Elvis Presley when he did a concert in Lubbock. Presley was so impressed with Holly that he asked him to open for him two more times. Elvis also impressed Holly to pursue a career in music.

A statue in Lubbock was built in honor of their favorite son

What really set Holly apart from many other white musicians at the time (including Elvis) was that Holly wrote and often produced his own music. At the time, if you were a white performer, the record companies would frown on someone writing their own music. The record company was trying to sell an image, and they had professional songwriters on retainer that would write songs that coincided with that image. African-American singers usually had to rely on writing their own music or that of other black performers. This actually would work in their favor in the long run because writing your own music meant royalties. Holly’s decision to buck the system and perform original material strongly influenced future superstars like Bob Dylan and Lennon-McCartney to do the same. Paul McCartney has said several times that Buddy Holly was a greater artistic inspiration to him than anyone else.bh3

Holly’s professional career lasted only two years. In that time he recorded his best know hits “That’ll be the day”, “Peggy Sue”, and “Raining in my heart”. He also recorded several songs that later become hits for others such as “It’s so easy” which became a hit for Linda Rondstat and “True Love Ways” which I had the pleasure of singing to my parents at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

Holly’s trademark glasses at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock
Buddy Holly’s name and face can be seen throughout Lubbock on street signs, murals, and music festivals

In a future post, we will visit Clear Lake, Iowa site of Holly’s last show and explore in more detail his life and music as well as be finding out more of the other musicians who perished on the “Day the music died”.




5 Replies to “Holly Day in Lubbock, Texas”

  1. How do you do it? It is so hard to live a life and do a blog. I am trying to write daily about my 2001 trip across the US. Getting behind. Going fly fishing next week and then having guests come to my house the following week. I admire your consistency in posting . Great job!!!

    1. Google Analytics is a blessing and a curse. On one hand it is nice to know how many people view the blog each day. The bad side is that it tends to get me a bit OCD. If i don’t post anything and i only have 5 views, I panic. Like I am going to lose all the people who are following my page. One should never just post something out of fear. I like posting a lot, but i need to find balance. I like your posts, but I totally get being well rounded and I would love to go fly fishing so I totally get it.

  2. Another informative post! I love the glasses sculpture. And it was very interesting to learn about why artists did/ did not write their own songs.

    1. Thanks KD, In the long run people like Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Ray Charles ( african american performers who relied on their own songs and not tin pan alley machine songs,) did much better with long term income. Royalties are always the way to make the most money in the music biz

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