After failing to chart a hit with the recordings he made with Decca Records in 1956, Buddy Holly and his band The Crickets drove 90 miles east of their home town Lubbock, Texas to record at the Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico. Working with Norman Petty as his producer and engineer, Holly had the freedom to play and record his songs the way he intended them to sound, which ultimately had a lasting impact on rock ‘n’ roll.
Ironically, the same Fender amp that Holly used in Clovis to record his hits remains there to this day. The grill cloth is a different color, but here’s a photo of Buddy Holly’s amp, currently on display at Norman Petty Recording Studios in Clovis, humbly being played by yours truly while visiting in 2016. 😎
Here is Sonny Curtis playing his guitar and singing a special song he wrote as a tribute to his childhood friend, Buddy Holly, called The Real Buddy Holly Story.
He wrote the early rocker Rockin’ Around with Ollie Vee and later wrote the famous theme for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He basically grew up with Buddy Holly and the Crickets. He travelled to Nashville in 1956 and played lead guitar on Buddy’s Decca recordings made at Owen Bradley’s Barn (aka the Quonset Hut). Later, Sonny became a permanent member of The Crickets after Buddy’s passing.
Here he is playing and singing a song he penned called The Real Buddy Holly Story.
On this day December 7, 1955, Buddy Holly travelled from Lubbock to Wichita Falls, Texas with friends Sonny Curtis, Don Guess, and Jerry Allison to record a demo record at Nesman Recording Studio. The songs recorded that day were:
Moonlight Baby* (unissued)
I Guess I Was Just A Fool (unissued)
Don’t Come Back Knockin’ (demo)
Love Me (demo)
* Moonlight Baby was an alternate title for Baby Won’t You Come Out Tonight.
Buddy sang and played guitar. Others participating were Sonny Curtis (guitar), Don Guess (bass), and Jerry Allison (drums)
Sonny Curtis, Buddy Holly, Don Guess. Photo courtesy of Sonny Curtis.
Just a few weeks after recording and his first record with Sam Phillips at the Sun Records studio, Elvis Presley with Scotty Moore and Bill Black, appeared live on the Louisiana Hayride which was broadcast on KWKH.
That’s All Right (Live from the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana) October 16, 1954.
The Hayride was performed live in front of an audience at the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium.