Nikki & Larry Plese


Gotta Roll! The Early Recordings
1949-1955, Buddy Holly

(Cherry Red / Rev Ola CR REV 174)
         August, 2006 - Buddy Holly, American singer songwriter, pioneer of rock and roll and the first in person to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986. "Gotta Roll!" is a first-time compendium of all of the existing demos cut by Buddy Holly before he signed his first commercial recording contract in January 1956. Including the four rockabilly demos sent to Nashville in December 1955 which resulted in his first contract with US Decca, the record label that spelt his name wrong on the contract, unintentionally immortalizing Buddy Holly, instead of his birth name Holley.
         Buddy plays rhythm, lead guitar and mandolin, accompanying himself, Bob Montgomery, Jack Neal. Sonny Curtis and Ben Hall. Here are the complete Lubbock and Wichita Falls demos, made before sessions in Nashville, Clovis and New York City and before the influence of his band The Crickets, which Buddy formed in Lubbock and had the bulk of his success with. The audience at a UK Buddy Holly and The Crickets show included a young John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who would later sight them as a major influence, including the name The Beatles which was inspired from The Crickets.
         This CD also features covers of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and Elvis hits and celebrated Holly-billy such as "Gotta Get You Near Me Blues", "Down The Line", "I Wanna Play House With You" and the early demos of songs which he later cut commercially "Don't Come Back Knockin"', "Love Me", "I Guess I Was Just A Fool" and "Baby, Won't You Come Out Tonight".
         A treasure trove of history in the making from this popular and beloved performer this is a vital piece of Rock 'n' Roll history, remastered in the classic Rev Ola style and beautifully packaged with rare memorabilia and extensive notes by Mr. Dave Penny in a newpaper style 6-folded front cover. A superb collection for all rock 'n' roll, rockabilly and roots music fans.
         Tracklisting: Down The Line #1 / Don't Come Back Knockin' / I Guess I Was A Fool / Love Me / Moonlight Baby (Aka Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight) / I Wanna Play House With You (Aka Baby, Let's Play House) / You And I Are Through #1 / Down The Line #2 / Memories / Gotta Get You Near Me Blues / You And I Are Through #2 / Because You Love Me / This Bottle / I Hear The Lord Callin' For Me / I Saw The Moon Cry Last Night / I'll Miss My Heart / Queen Of The Ballroom / Rose Of Monterey / All >From Loving You / Dallas Boogie / One In A Million / My Two-Timin' Woman (Edited Version) / Let's Pretend (Aka I'll Just Pretend) / Take These Shackles From My Heart / Footprints In The Snow / My Two-Timin' Woman (Unedited Version)
Cherry Red Records
Unit 3A
Long Island House
Warple Way
London W3 0RG UK
Information provided by Doug Shipton,

Update: August, 2004

ANNOUNCEMENT: very important addition to the Buddy Holly music catalog. A new CD called "Stay All Night - Buddy Holly's Country Roots" was just released and it features previously unheard tracks by Buddy Holly and his bandmates. Here is a site dedicated to this rare find and the history behind the artist and his peers...
"Stay All Night - Buddy Holly's Country Roots" is the first account of Buddy Holly's West Texas Roots, performed by those who knew Holly best: Buddy's bandmates: Tommy Allsup, Carl Bunch, and Larry Welborn, and Buddy's earliest professional collaborator Jack Neal. They are joined by that swinging big band from down the road in Turkey, Texas - Bob Will's Texas Playboys. Adding to the account are Buddy's older brothers and mentors, Larry and Travis Holley, and his contemporaries Al Perkins and Billy Grammer. Featured also are a new generation of stars from Lubbock - The Flatlanders; Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock; and some Holly disciples from far beyond Lubbock including Robert Reynolds from the Mavericks, and blues masters Judy Luis-Watson and Paul Watson.

Stay All Night is a must for Buddy Holly fans, vintage country fans and anyone who appreciates American roots music. Go to the above website to learn more about Buddy Holly's Country Roots and to preview and purchase the Stay All Night Buddy Holly's Country Roots Project CD!
-West Texas Roots

Happy Birthday, Buddy Holly

By Chris Macias, Bee Pop Music Writer. Rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly would be 65 on Friday, had he not perished on "the day the music died." Holly's career was cut short, along with those of Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959. But in Holly's hometown of Lubbock, Texas, the locals haven't forgotten their favorite son. The Buddy Holly Center has been running for two years, offering exhibits centered around both Holly and the musical history of West Texas. Displays include Holly's high school ring, his glasses, which were recovered from the fatal plane crash, musical instruments -- and even his Cub Scout uniform.

"It's a permanent gallery dedicated to his life and music," says Jobi Martinez, cultural arts assistant for the Buddy Holly Center, speaking on the phone from Lubbock. "This is always a busy time of year for us, with Buddy Holly's birthday always near the Labor Day holiday weekend. We get visitors from all over country."

At his death, Holly left behind a share of hits, including "Peggy Sue," "Not Fade Away" and "That'll Be The Day." With his chunky glasses and unimposing stance, he also influenced generations of such nerdy-looking rockers as Elvis Costello, They Might Be Giants and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. (Weezer even canonized Holly with its hit "Buddy Holly.") "(Had he lived), I think he still would have been a legend. He was also trying to get in the recording industry and create his own company. He hoped that he could run the company here in Lubbock. This would've been a nice place for it."

For more information about the Buddy Holly Center, visit

  • Buddy Holly Lyrics Lyrics

  • Buddy's Concert Schedule 1957-1959

  • Buddy Holly / Terry Shaw

  • Rockabilly Hall of Fame: Buddy Holly Graphics

    Information taken from the book "Memories of Buddy Holly"

    It's A-Gettin' Closer..."

    1. September 7, 1936 - Charles Hardin Holley is born in Lubbock, Texas.

    2. January 1955 - Buddy meets Elvis presley at Lubbock's Cotton Club.

    3. October 1955 - In his first major rock 'n' roll gig, Buddy and his singing partner Bob Montgomery open for Bill Haley & His Comets at Lubbock's Fair Park Coliseum.


    4. January 26 - Buddy records his first session in Nashville for Decca Records.

    5. April 16 - Decca issues the first Buddy Holly record, "Blue Days, Black Nights."


    6. February 25 - Buddy and his group record the hit version of "That'll Be the Day" in the wee hours, at Norman Petty's recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico.

    7. May 27 - Brunswick Records, a subsidiary of Decca, releases another single of "That'll Be the Day" under the name the Crickets.

    8. June 20 - Coral Records, also a subsidiary of Decca, releases another single, "Words of Love," under Buddy Holly's own name, as a solo artist, thus establishing two simultaneous avenues for his music.

    9. June 30 or July 1 - Buddy and his group record "Peggy Sue" and "Oh, Boy!" during a late-night session in Clovis.

    10. August 16 - The Crickets begin a week of performances at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem.

    11. September 1 - The Crickets begin the Biggest Show of Stars for 1957, which takes them to 80 cities over the next three months.

    12. September 20 - Coral releases the second Buddy Holly single, "Peggy Sue," which enters Billboard's Top 40 three weeks later and peaks at number three.

    13. September 23 - According to Billboard, "That'll Be the Day" becomes the top-selling single in the country.

    14. October 27 - Brunswick releases the second Crickets single, "Oh, Boy!," which enters the Top 40 over a month later and tops out at #10.

    15. November 27 - Brunswick Records releases The Chirpin' Crickets album, now considered one of the five greatest rock 'n' roll LPs of the 1950s.

    16. December 1 - The Crickets make their national TV debut performing "That'll Be the Day" and "Peggy Sue" on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York.

    17. January 26 - The Crickets make their second and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing only one song, "Oh, Boy!"

    18. January 30 - The Crickets perform in Sydney, Australia, beginning a six-day tour Down Under.

    19. February 12 - Brunswick releases the Crickets' third single, "Maybe Baby," which goes Top 40 a month later and reaches #17 in April.

    20. March 2 - After arriving in London two days earlier, the Crickets kick off a 25-day British tour by making a BBC-TV appearance at the London Palladium.

    21. April 20 - Coral releases Buddy's fourth solo single, "Rave On," which enters the top 40 for one week in early June, peaking at #37.

    22. May 27 - Brunswick releases "Think It Over," the Crickets' fourth single. It visits the Top 40 in early August, reaching #27.

    23. July 5 - Coral releases Buddy's fifth single, "Early in the Morning," to cover Bobby Darin's original version with the Rinky Dinks. It peaks on the charts at #32 in late August.

    24. August 24 - Buddy marries Maria Elena Santiago in Lubbock.

    25. October 21 - Buddy records his final studio session, in New York, with a full orchestra; it produces his only stereo recordings, including "True Love Ways," "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" and "Raining in My Heart."

    26. October 28 - The Crickets appear on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, lip-synching to "It's So Easy."

    27. November 1 - Buddy calls it quits with the Crickets and gives the group name to Jerry Allison and Joe B Mauldin.


    28. January 5 Coral releases Buddy's seventh and last single of his lifetime, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore." It will reach #13 a month after his death.

    29. January 23 - Buddy joins the Winter Dance Party tour in Milwaukee

    30. February 3 - Buddy Holly, along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, is killed in the early hours in a plane crash just outside of Clear Lake, Iowa.

    Discography -
    CD's -
    Recordings -
    Another cool site if you don't mind that it's half Japanese -
    Looking for that Vigotone boxset, ask here! great site -
    Need more info about Buddy, ask from these guys -

    1996 Update
    Buddy's parents L.O. and Ella Holley, Norman and Vi Petty, Hi-Pockets Duncan, Dick Jacobs, Bob Thiele, Bill Pickering, drummer Carl Bunch and bassist Don Guess who is deceased. Sonny Curtis, Jerry Allison and Joe B. Mauldin live in the Nashville area and continue to tour and occasionally record as the Crickets. Travis and Larry Holley still live in Lubbock. Maria Elena Holly lives outside of Dallas.

  • Samples of "Reminiscing" Found in Buddy's Book

    BUDDY HOLLY: (In a hand-printed letter written about 1953-54, soliciting work.) We are a group of high-school boys that has organized one of the leading hill-billy & Western bands in Lubbock. We are interested in helping neighborhood high schools to raise funds and at the same time raise money for us to help pay our way through high school.

    I know that you wouldn't want to let just anyone play at your school, so if you have not heard of us, we are the 580 Ranch Hands * Buddy and Jack, and we have two radio programs every Sunday afternoon at 3:15 o'clock and 3:30 o'clock respectively. The radio station we are on, is KDAV (580 on your radio dial). If it would not be asking too much, we would like to request your listening to our programs and see if you like us. If you need any references, you may write to Hi-Pockets, or Dave Stone c/o radio station KDAV here in Lubbock, and ask them about us. Now, here is what we would like to ask you about. We would like to come to your school and play a stage show for the entertainment of the citizens, school children, and neighboring farms people of your town. We could advertise over the radio when we were going to be there and get a good audience built up. I know that if your school is like our school, it can always use some extra money. We have helped quite a few schools around Austin, Texas, to gather money in this way and they were quite satisified with the results. If you are at all interested in this, we would qppreciate it very much if you would write to me, Buddy Holley, 2304-1st Street, Lubbock, Texas.

    SID KING: (Leader of a popular country-rockabilly band.) We were regulars on the Big D Jamboree [broadcasting over KRLD in Dallas], so one one time I said, "Well, Buddy, why don't you come on up, and we'll get you on the Jamboree." And we must have told him what week we'd be on, 'cause we didn't play every Saturday, we only worked there once a month. Well, you coudn't say something like that to Buddy, 'cause he'd be there the next day. And that's kind of what happened - he didn't even call us or anything, he just showed up, him and the others. He came in on Friday night and he spent the night in my house. And os I introduced him to Johnny Harper, who was the talent coordinator on the Jamboree, and they put Buddy on the show that night. He did two or three songs, and I think he encored.

    GENE VINCENT: (Early rockabilly star whose "Be-Bop-A-Lula" was a 1956 hit.) I went back to the hote [in Nashville] and there was this fella sitting there in the lobby who came up to me and said, {"Excuse me, can I get your autograph?" and I said, "Haven't I seen you someplace before?" and he said, "Yeah, my name's Buddy Holly." He had a record out then called "Blue Days, Black Nights." It was a fabulous record.

    JERRY LEE LEWIS: In Australia he got four encourse and nearly took the show away from me . . . Buddy was the real star on that one. He just tore them up over there - just drove them wild.

    JACK SCOTT: (Popular Canadian rock balladeer who had several 1950s hits.) I had "My True Love" out and we were going on a tour with a bunch of people and [Buddy] was driving the car . . . He was at Southern Music also and he married the girl that worked at Southern Music. I met him outside the building there . . . just getting ready to get on the bus. He was driving his car and the rest of us were on this big bus. he was following the bus and I got to meet him at that point in time.

    BILLY SWAN (Singer-songwriter best known for his 1974 hit "I Can Help.") When Elvis and the Sun stuff came out - Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins and those guys - I think that kinda pulled me toward it a little more. Buddy Holly was another one I really liked. I think that's when I decided I wanted to [go into music].

    STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN: "It's a tradition back in Texas, if you're in Lubbock you stop over to the cemetery there where Buddy Holly's buried. He's got this headstone on the ground with a guitar carved on it. So when you go there you push the last [guitar[ pick you used into the dirt next to the headtone. When you go there you'll find all kinds of picks pushed down into the dirt."

    MEMORIES OF BUDDY HOLLY: In the words of his friends, his fans and himself, A book compiled by Jim Dawson & Spencer Leigh. "Fascinating... great pictures, many previously unseen, and quotes that trace Holly's life and music in ther words of everyone from John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan to family and friends... [secures] Holly's place in the pantheon of rock 'n' roll." --David Hinckley, N.Y. Daily News

    Includes Buddy's chart hits, the unreleased album of alternate takes you probably haven't heard, cover records & remakes of Buddy's songs, paens, dirges & tribute records, current CD releases and more. 168 pages, softbound. $19.95 plus $4.00 shipping. Send check or money order to: BIG NICKEL PUBLICATIONS, P.O. Box 157, Milford, NH 03055. For retailer discounts, phone 603-888-4012. Or use your credit card by calling Vintage Distributors at 1-800-523-2036, ext 8211.

    From Uncle Bill

    I wrote this originally back in 1999 on the 40th anniversary of Holly's death.

    In the early hours of February 3rd, 1959, the crash of a small twin engine airplane in a corn field near Clear Lake Iowa created the first Rock & Roll "Legend." In essence, Rock and Roll was barley three years old if that. But in that short time America had witnessed the greatest youth social revolution since the roaring 20's. All created by a brand of music that was part country, gospel, blues and jazz. Just how American can you get...The men and women who pioneered this new musical art form were to influence nearly every great rock artist to come, from the Beatles to John Mellencamp. I don't believe any of them really knew or understood how they were shaping their places in history. Buddy Holly was one of those pioneers, and was the legend to be made, and he was one of my heroes.

    Sitting in front of my little plastic RCA 45rpm record player, almost every afternoon after school and into the evening, I would play Holly's records over and over and attempt to copy his chords and licks on my big yellow Kay guitar. I learned that a lot could be done with chords and capos, and that simplicity could sound powerful and great. I saw him only once in concert, and in one amazing minute shook his hand and froze. You have to remember that in the mid 50's, Rock and Roll was being invented. Everything that was happening was new. And it was happening in a hurry. The electric guitar had become the "power" symbol of a new generation of budding musicians. We ate, lived and devoured anything guitar. Unlike the rock guitarist of today, we didn't have Hendrix, Clapton or Randy Rhodes to copy from. Scotty Moore, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and Cliff Gallup were our guides. They were inventing Rock and Roll; We were following close behind.... When I first heard "That will be the day," I was astonished. "Damn, that's a Fender Stratocastor. Chuck Berry type rhythm. Why doe's it sound so high? I can play that."

    Holly had a simplistic way of playing guitar. Three or four chord structure with flourishes and simple leads. Something that most of us could play with a little practice. Because of this, bands were playing his early music at every school or YMCA dance, sock hop, roller-rinks or where-ever bands were playing. But Holly had innovation on his mind and while he pioneered many first and became more polished, he never forgot to keep the edge on his music. Unlike Elvis Presley who totally abandoned his grungy roots for a more acceptable image, Holly managed to smooth his image while keeping the edge in place. "Peggy Sue" was proof of this. Recorded as a single for Holly on Coral records, it was the best produced recordings that Holly had made to that date. It was also the song that set him apart as a real rocker. The driving lead as he slams the toggle switch from the forward "rhythm" pickup to the "lead" pickup and the raw, unprocessed sound of a 56 Strat turned way up almost lifts you out of you seat. It is one of the most recognized guitar leads ever recorded by an artist. I still get chills when I hear it. "Rave On" and "Think It Over" are later Holly recordings that also reflected the Holly edge. While Holly could rock, he proved he could write love songs as well. The beautiful "True Love Ways" and "Words of Love" are classics in their own right.

    Holly had many firsts to his credit....
    He was one of the first "white" artist to rely almost exclusivity on his own material.
    He was the first "Rock" singer to double track his voice & guitar.
    The first to feature the band singing background vocals, even though they really didn't on "That will be the day." Another singing group did. Possibly on other recordings as well.
    The first rock artist to have a solo career as well as a group identity with the Crickets.
    The first to have both a group album and a solo album released and on the charts at the same time. "The Chirping Crickets" on Brunswick, released November 1957. And "Buddy Holly" on Coral Records released in March 1958. The first to put "Strings" on a rock record.
    And possibly the first rock star to wear glasses on stage.

    Had Holly not have been killed some forty-two years ago, God only knows what he could have done. How far he could have gone, what music he could have created. For thousands of us who sat in front of tiny record players and searched for chords and memorized words; Who tingled with excitement whenever we strapped on a "Strat" or a "Les Paul," and who felt like part of us died in that Iowa cornfield that awful night, Buddy Holly will live on; Every time I pick up my guitar....

    In 1961 I finally had the money to purchase my first of three Fender Strats. It was a white 56-57 series with a maple neck. I can remember the feeling when I first played it through my Fender Pro Amp. It sounded just like Holly's... I think I played until my fingers hurt. It was like I was possessed....."Maybe I was."

    Uncle Bill
    I don't remember if I cried, when I heard about his widowed bride. But something touched me deep inside. The day, the music died: in NY

    Courtesy: Uncle Bill

    Courtesy: Uncle Bill

    The third Cricket was Niki Sullivan, who played a thin Gibson hollow body electric. I can't remember the model number. He toured with them all through 1957 but left the band for some forgotten reason. When I saw them, he was limping. I thought he had a club foot or something. Never saw anything in print about an injury or anything. I'm not sure if the attachment will go through but it's an old B&W 8x10 of The Crickets on stage in Philadelphia, sometime in 1957. Uncle Bill - Oh Boy; In NY.

    Richard E. Jandrow

    January 26, 1958 (Sunday): A dress rehearsal had been scheduled during the afternoon for the Ed Sullivan Show.

    "When an act was cut abruptly, Buddy Holly and the Crickets were called up next but only Buddy was there (Jerry and Joe were in the building but elsewhere). When Sullivan asked where the others were, Buddy answered, "I don't know. No telling". Sullivan became furious.

    "This may have been when he decided to cut Buddy Holly and the Crickets from performing two songs to one. It was also the time that he objected to the group performing "Oh Boy" because he thought the song "too raunchy". Buddy said he told all his friends in Lubbock he'd do that song, so it would be that song or nothing. Sullivan angrily consented.

    "January 26, 1958: Buddy Holly and the Crickets performed "Oh Boy" on the Ed Sullivan Show (1697 Broadway, New York City). Norman Petty attended the show. The hour-long program began at 8:00 p.m. Most likely because of the "problems" that took place during dress rehearsal [see previous entry], a still-upset Sullivan introduced them as "Buddy Hollard and his Crickets". Also, Buddy's guitar was turned way down by the engineer. Watch closely near the beginning of the clip. You'll see Buddy twice trying to turn up his guitar volume. It's apparent the Crickets "got even" because they double-timed the guitar break playing as loud as they could, each with a grin from ear to ear. After completion of their song, you can see Sullivan with quite a disgruntled look on his face (never aired when this clip is shown). However, the show was live and Sullivan had to continue. Buddy Holly and the Crickets received $2000.00 for their appearance." Some people say that Ed introduced him as Buddy Hollet... others say Buddy Hollard ... I just think Ed spoke funny, anyway ... no one mentions that there were any but the usual Crickets there.

    Richard E. Jandrow -
    Posted Oct. 21, 2001

    Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ