Buddy Holly honored on 75th birthday

Buddy Holly is remembered on what would have been his 75th birthday with Buddy Holly Day, and with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

(AP Photo/File)
This is an undated photo of rock and roll legend Buddy Holly who died in 1959.

Today would have been rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly's 75th birthday.

Wednesday, Sept. 7, is being called Buddy Holly Day, with Holly being honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. His widow, Maria Elena Holly, accepted the star on his behalf along side two of Holly's close friends, producer Peter Asher, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, and actor Gary Busey. Busey portrayed Holly in the 1978 film, "The Buddy Holly story."

The singer and songwriter who made black geeky glasses look cool, had such classics like "Peggy Sue," "That'll be the Day," and "Everyday."

In his 18-month career, the young rock sensation placed 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his band "The Crickets," and as a solo artist.

His life ended tragically in 1959 at the age of 22 in a plane crash, along with fellow rock-and-roll greats Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.

Holly influenced the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and most recently the band Weezer, which wrote the tribute song "Buddy Holly."

Don McLean, inspired by his memories of Holly's death, wrote the classic "American Pie," describing how he felt at the time "the day music died."

To keep Holly's music alive today, a new collection of his songs is being released, titled "Listen to me: Buddy Holly." Among the contributing artists who perform Holly's classic hits are Stevie Nicks, Natalie Merchant, The Fray, Brian Wilson, Chris Issak, Ringo Starr, and many others.

"We are trying to keep Buddy Holly's name alive so younger generations can appreciate it the way I do," says The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. "Buddy is unique. He matters because his music is timeless." Wilson did his own interpretation of Holly's "Listen to me."

If you live in the U.S. or Canada, the album went on sale Sept. 6. Holly fans around the rest of the world will have to wait for a later release.


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