Buddy Holly was born as Charles Hardin Holley
September 7, 1936 in Lubbock Texas.
He was the fourth child of Lawrence Odell "L.O." Holley and Ella
Pauline Drake. From early childhood, he was nicknamed "Buddy".
In 1956 a contract with Decca Records misspelled Holley's last name
as "Holly"; from then on, he was known as "Buddy Holly"
At Roscoe Wilson
Elementary, he became friends with Bob Montgomery, and the two
played together, practicing with songs by the Louvin Brothers and
Johnnie & Jack. Holley played with other musicians he met at
School, including Sonny
Curtis and Jerry Allison. In 1952, Holley and Jack Neal
participated as a duo billed as "Buddy and Jack" in a talent contest
on a local television show.
Buddy was further
encouraged after seeing Elvis Presley performing live in Lubbock,
whose act was booked by Pappy Dave Stone of KDAV. In February,
Holley opened for Presley at the Fair Park Coliseum, in April at the
Cotton Club, and again in June at the Coliseum.
Shortly after Buddy first appeared on television in 1952,
he formed his
first musical group "Buddy and Bob' in 1953. After opening for Elvis
Presley in 1955 Buddy decided he wanted a career in music. Holly and
the Crickets performed "That'll Be the Day" and "Peggy Sue" on
The Ed Sullivan Show on December 1, 1957.
In September of the the same year Buddy flew home to Lubbock
where he learned his high school girlfriend Echo McGuire had left
him for a fellow student. He also had a relationship with Lubbock
fan June Clark. After Clark ended their relationship he subsequently
met Maria Elena Santiago and asked her to marry him on their
first date. Buddy died in a tragic plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa
February 3 1959.
Maria Elena watched the first reports of Holly's death on
television. The following day, she claimed, she miscarried although
there is no independent source for this. Holly's mother, who heard
the news on the radio in Lubbock, Texas, collapsed. Because of Maria
Elena's miscarriage, in the months following the accident, the
authorities implemented a policy against announcing victims' names
until after families are informed.[
Buddy Holly's funeral was held in Lubbock, Texas, at the
Tabernacle Baptist Church. The service was performed by Ben D.
Johnson, who had also officiated at Holly's wedding just six months
earlier. Pallbearers were the original Crickets: Jerry Allison, Joe
B. Mauldin and Niki Sullivan; music producer Bob Montgomery, and
musicians Sonny Curtis and Phil Everly (of the Everley Brothers).
Over a thousand mourners attended the service, but his widow did
not. Maria Elena Holly has never visited the grave of her husband.
She told the Avalanche-Journal, "In a way, I blame myself. I was not
feeling well when he left. I was two weeks pregnant, and I wanted
Buddy to stay with me, but he had scheduled that tour. It was the
only time I wasn't with him. And I blame myself because I know that,
if only I had gone along, Buddy never would have gotten into that
part series: As Crickets finally get their due, a glimpse into past
Lubbock Avalanche Journal
The Day the Music Died: Buddy Holly, "The Big Bopper" and Ritchie
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