Buddy Holly was born on September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas. From a young age, he showed a passion for music and for making it himself. He taught himself how to play guitar and formed his first band while still in high school. In 1956, Holly moved to Nashville in pursuit of a music career. He is often cited as one of the most influential figures in rock and roll history. Holly’s music career lasted less than four years, but he had a lasting impact on popular music.
Charles Hardin Holley
September 7, 1936
February 3, 1959 (age 22)
Buddy Holly was born on September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas. He was interested in music from a very young age and started to play the guitar and sing when he was just 11 years old. In high school, he formed a band with some of his friends, and they started to play at local events. After high school, Holly started to pursue a career in music. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and started to play at various clubs. However, he soon realized that Nashville was not the right place for him, so he moved back to Lubbock.
The Crickets were a band formed by Holly and Jerry Allison in the early 1950s. The band is best known for their hits ‘That’ll Be the Day’ and ‘Peggy Sue.’ He achieved mainstream success in 1957 with the release of both songs. He continued to have hits throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Crickets toured extensively in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Crickets was the backing band for Holly on all of his early recordings. They also toured with him and played on the “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1957. After Holly’s death, The Crickets continued to tour and record until 1965. Holly had a very short but successful career in rock and roll. He released only three albums in his lifetime, but his music remained popular for decades. He pioneered the early rock and roll sound and helped define the genre. Holly remains one of the very best in rock and roll.
Buddy Holly forms a band with some friends and they start to play at local clubs.
Holly’s band, The Crickets, becomes one of the first rock and roll bands to tour the U.K.
The Crickets release their first number one hit, ‘That'll Be the Day,’ and enjoy huge success in the U.K.
Holly’s album reaches number 80 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and is now heralded as a classic of the folk-rock genre.
Why We Love Buddy Holly
His music is timeless and catchy
His music has a catchy beat that people of any age can enjoy dancing to. The lyrics are also easy to remember, making people enjoy singing along to his songs.
He was a pioneer of rock and roll
Buddy Holly was an early innovator of rock and roll music. He helped define the genre with his recordings in the 1950s, including hits like ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘Oh, Boy!’
He had a unique and memorable style
Holly mixed country music and R&B to develop the sound of rock and roll. His music is easily recognizable, even today.
5 Surprising Facts
He was the youngest
Buddy Holly was the youngest of four children and his siblings were Larry, Jr., Travis, and Patricia.
Elvis Presley unleashed Holly’s music
When Presley was in Lubbock, Texas in 1955, Holly performed the opening act for him and from thereon, decided to pursue a career in music.
A misspelled surname was immortalized
Decca Records erroneously dropped the ‘e’ in Holly’s surname when The Crickets signed with the record label in February 1956.
Love inspired him to write
Holly co-wrote the song ‘Peggy Sue,’ which was about his girlfriend at the time — Peggy Sue Gerron — although the credit officially went to his two other band mates.
A band was named in his honor
In 1962, a British rock and pop band was formed and named themselves The Hollies.
Buddy Holly FAQs
Did Buddy Holly marry his cousin?
Contrary to widespread rumors, his wife, Maria Elena Santiago, was not his cousin.
Did BuddyHolly have a child?
Holly did not have any children in his lifetime.
How is Paul McCartney related to Holly?
They aren’t related. The Beatles member Paul McCartney cited Holly as one of his musical influences, leading him to acquire the publishing rights to Holly’s songs in 1976.
Buddy Holly’s birthday dates