The 1950s was a very influential time for the United States as well as the world. Music was changing, teenagers were gaining more freedom, and music was evolving into something no one had heard before. In a time where rebellious teens were looking for a new sound, and a new look, Buddy Holly came forth as the ideal artist to comply.
Holly’s well receipted look and sound started with an early love for music. Born Charles Hardin Holley, into a Texan family in 1936 Holly was found to be musically inclined at a young age. His mother had described how he sand around the house from a very young age. Buddy was the youngest of three siblings, and brothers Larry and Travis taught him to play a variety of instruments, including the guitar, four-string banjo and lap steel guitar. Holly even went so far as to win a singing contest in 1949 and used a wire recorder to save him singing a rendition of Hank Snow’s, “My Two Timin’ Woman”. Holly earned the nic-name “Buddy” when he was very young, due to the fact that he was so nice to everybody.( Amburn)
His genuine friendly attitude helped Holy to befriend soon to be band mate Bob Montgomery. In 1952 Holly met Bob Montgomery in his Junior High School. They had an instant connection and shared and interest in music. Almost immediately, the pair teamed up and began singing duets and local clubs and high school talent shows. The two earned themselves a name as a top local act once they performed on their local radio station.(Goldrosen, John, John Beecher, and John Goldrosen)
After becoming slightly more locally famous, In 1955 Holly saw Elvis Presley perform for the first time. Immediately after, Holly’s music began to change. He began to share a similar sound with Sun Records which had a strong rhythm acoustic and slap bass. On October 15, 1955, Holly, along with Bob Montgomery and Larry Welborn, opened for Presley in Lubbock, catching the eye of a Nashville talent scout. Holly's transition to rock continued when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets at a local show organized by Eddie Crandall, the manager for Marty Robbins.( "Buddy Holly Biography.")
Following this performance, Decca Records signed Holly to a contract in February 1956, misspelling his name as "Holly He thereafter adopted the misspelling for his professional career. Soon after, The Crickets were formed. The band consisted of, Holly (lead guitar and vocals), Niki Sullivan (guitar), Joe B. Mauldin (bass), and Jerry Allison (drums). They went to on three separate occasions to record their music. However, Holly was angered by the fact that he didn’t have the creative input he desired. Among the tracks he recorded was an early version of "That'll Be The Day". Decca released two singles, "Blue Days, Black Nights" and "Modern Don Juan", that failed to make an impression. On January 22, 1957, Decca informed Holly his contract would not be renewed, insisting, however, that he could not record the same songs for anyone else for five years.
Now record label less, Holly then hired Norman Petty as manager, and the band began recording at Petty's studios in Clovis, New Mexico. Petty contacted music publishers and labels, and Brunswick Records, a subsidiary of Decca, signed the Crickets on March 19, 1957. Holly signed as a solo artist with another Decca subsidiary, Coral Records. This put him in the unusual position of having two recording contracts at the same time.(Goldrosen, John, John Beecher, and John Goldrosen)
On May 27, 1957, “That’ll be the Day” was released as a single. The group and manager did everything with the song that they could so that no legal action was taken by Decca Records who still had a right to that song. Fortunately, Decca did not attempt to make a claim and the song topped the Billboard US "Best Sellers in Stores" chart on September 23, and was on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in November.( "Buddy Holly Biography.")
Soon after The Crickets careers...