“Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holley is Lubbock’s most renowned musical artist. Growing up in a musical family, he played many instruments but settled on the guitar. During his teens, he teamed with other area musicians performing in concerts and on the radio. He had the Buddy & Jack show live on KDAV radio and then the Buddy & Bob show.
Holly’s influences included bluegrass, country, rhythm & blues, but Rock and Roll became his calling after seeing Elvis Presley perform. In 1956, Holly signed with Decca Records, and they misspelled his last name on the contract, leaving out the E—the name stuck.
In 1957, Holly signed a recording deal with Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, but because of his Decca contract, he could not use his name; so, the group The Crickets was born, including J.I. Allison, Joe B. Mauldin, Nikki Sullivan. In 1958, he released his self-titled album, married Maria Elena Santiago, and began a solo career. While on the Winter Dance Party tour of the Midwest in 1959, he chartered a plane to fly him, Waylon Jennings, and Tommy Allsup to the next tour stop from Clear Lake, Iowa. However, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper accompanied Holly on the flight. Shortly after take-off on February 3, 1959, the plane crashed, killing all on board. Holly’s legacy is epic, and he influenced many musicians.
Buddy Holly was the first inductee into the West Texas Walk of Fame in 1979. “