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.
Vintage Rock Magazine of Britain has issued a special 132 page edition honoring the 60th anniversary of The Day The Music Died.
Exclusive interviews include intimate discussions with Buddy’s widow Maria Elena Holly; Bobby Vee, who took the unenviable position as Buddy’s replacement to close out the final tour; Crickets members Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis, who share their fond memories of Buddy – and producer Nick Patrick, whose True Love Ways project brought Buddy’s music together with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Built in the early 1950’s by record producer Owen Bradley, the ‘Quonset Hut’ was the original Nashville recording home for Decca Records. Rock ‘n’ roll pioneers, like Buddy Holly, made their first professional recordings in Owen Bradley’s studio.
Here it is…
Is this WWII surplus quonset hut the beginnings of Nashville’s Music Row?