This Day in History (September 7)

Sep 7, 1936: Buddy Holly is born

History.com

If you took out a map of the United States and traced a line beginning at New Orleans and running up the Mississippi River to Memphis, the tip of your finger would pass through the very birthplace of rock and roll —a region where nearly every step in its early development took place and where nearly every significant contributor to that development was born. But if the foundation of rock and roll was mostly laid down within 100 miles of the Mississippi River in the mid-1950s, the blueprint for what would follow required the further contributions of a young man born 700 miles to the west on this day in 1936: Charles Harden Holley. Writing and performing under the name Buddy Holly, this Lubbock, Texas, native would have an influence on rock and roll that would far outlast his tragically shortened career.

Buddy Holly spent his west Texas youth learning the piano, the violin, the banjo and the guitar. He formed his first group while still in junior high school. Performing as Buddy & Bob, Holly and his school friend Bob Montgomery played what they called “western and bop”—one of the many creative names used in the mid-1950s to describe the various hybrids of blues, R&B and country & western that would later coalesce into rock and roll. When Buddy & Bob opened in Lubbock for a young kindred spirit named Elvis Presley in 1955, Holly saw very clearly in what direction he wanted to go. And while Holly would never be able to compete with Presley in terms of good looks and charisma, he would far outdo Elvis in terms of purely musical creativity.

By 1956, Elvis had become a superstar performing material originally written by others, and though Buddy Holly was still an unknown, he was blazing a trail that future giants like the Beatles would follow by writing, performing and eventually producing his own material. Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones would draw heavily on the Buddy Holly catalog either for cover material or direct songwriting inspiration, and Holly would be a tremendous formative influence on the young Bob Dylan, among many others.

In a recording career that lasted little more than 18 months, Holly contributed an astonishing number of classic songs to the rock-and-roll canon, including “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Not Fade Away,” It’s So Easy,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy!” and “Maybe Baby.” Born on this day in 1936, he died in 1959 at the age 23 in rock and roll’s most famous plane crash.

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This Day in History (February 29)

Feb 29, 1980: Buddy Holly’s glasses, lost since his death in 1959, are found in Mason City, Iowa

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Article taken from history.com

When the Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper crashed outside Clear Lake, Iowa, in the early morning hours of February 3, 1959, it struck the ground with such force that all three passengers were killed instantly, and the plane’s wreckage was strewn across nearly 300 yards of snow-covered cornfields. The death certificate issued by the Cerro Gordo County Coroner noted the clothing Holly was wearing, the presence of a leather suitcase near his body and the following personal effects:

Charles Holley

Cash $193.00 less $11.65 coroner’s fees – $181.35

2 Cuff links, silver 1/2 in. balls having jeweled band

Top portion of ball point pen

Notably missing from the list were Holly’s signature eyeglasses, the most distinctive visual legacy of a man who influenced the sound and style of rock and roll immeasurably. Those famous glasses were presumed lost forever until the announcement on February 29, 1980, that they had resurfaced in Mason City, Iowa.

The glasses in question had the appearance of something government issued, but they were, in fact, carefully chosen as part of Holly’s image—not by Holly himself, but by his Lubbock, Texas, optometrist, Dr. J. Davis Armistead. “Buddy was trying to wear the least conspicuous frames he could find,” wrote Dr. Armistead nearly 40 years after writing Holly’s last prescription. “Personally, I was not happy with the frame styles we had been using. I did not think they contributed anything to a distinct personality that a performer needs.” It was while on vacation in Mexico City that Armistead found exactly the frames that he felt Holly needed. He brought back two pair of the heavy plastic Faiosa frames. “Those heavy black frames achieve exactly what we wanted—they became a distinct part of him.” In fact, they became a part of the basic iconography and spirit of rock and roll. Before Buddy Holly, it would have been impossible to imagine a skinny, knock-need kid in an Ivy League suit and thick, heavy glasses being considered “cool.” After Buddy Holly, the look and attitude that would later be called “geek chic” became a completely accepted alternative style for an aspiring rock star to embrace.

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So how did the famous glasses re-emerge? In the violence of the crash back in February 1959, they were thrown clear of the other wreckage and buried in snow. They were found, along with the Big Bopper’s watch, that same spring, when the melting snow made them visible again. Though they were handed in immediately to the Cerro Gordo County Sherriff’s office, they sat filed away for the next 21 years in a sealed manila envelope marked “rec’d April 7, 1959.” That envelope was opened by Sheriff Jerry Allen on this day in 1980. The glasses were eventually returned to Holly’s widow, and can now be seen in the exhibit at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas.

Source: history.com

Music I Love Right Now

I’ve been listening to three artists nonstop for the last 5 days. I am a lover of all music and this list will change but right now its….

BUDDY HOLLY

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CHUCK BERRY

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JOHN LEE HOOKER

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Do yourself a favor and give them a listen. You wont be disappointed!

Jer