|Subject: Re: The Cricket Six Decades Of Rock n Roll Memories
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Date Posted: Wed May 18, 2016 04:06:19
In reply to:
's message, "Re: The Cricket Six Decades Of Rock n Roll Memories" on Thu May 12, 2016 04:23:53
FROM THE AVALANCHE JOURNAL
Fascinating music history explored within iconic 'Crickets'
Co-authors Clevenger, Warran offer biography, musician interviews
Posted: May 14, 2016 - 6:48pm | Updated: May 15, 2016 - 12:03am
"The Crickets: Six Decades of Rock 'n' Roll Memories," written by Gary Clevenger and Tony Warran, opens by introducing 28 different lineups for the Crickets, with the sole connecting factor being drummer Jerry "J.I." Allison.
By William Kerns
A-J MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Co-authors John Goldrosen and John Beecher subtitled their “Remembering Buddy” as “The Definitive Biography of Buddy Holly,” and rightfully so.
Not until now, however, have fans received an iconic, informative book about the history of the Crickets, a Lubbock band born in March 1957 with Buddy Holly, Jerry "J.I." Allison, Joe B. Mauldin and Niki Sullivan as its very first members.
Co-written by Gary Clevenger, who lives in Indiana, and Tony Warran, a resident of London, England, this huge book — 592 pages in larger-than-trade paperback size — is titled “The Crickets: Six Decades of Rock ’n’ Roll Memories.”
Just imagine, a band that endured six decades, although Allison, the late Holly’s best friend, was the only permanent member. It was, after all, Allison who refused to allow the Crickets’ name to die.
Yet not every interview included by Clevenger, 56, and Warran, 73, is complimentary about Allison.
Warran handled the brunt of the book editing, but the co-authors also credit Peter Gibson and Peter Fraser-Dunnet for editing assistance, and Fraser-Dunnet and Frank Merrison for “ensuring that the bio section was accurate.”
An honest history
“The Crickets: Six Decades of Rock ’n’ Roll Memories” presents an honest look back at a band’s history, with the authors allowingalmost everyone close to the Crickets to share thoughts, memories and opinions.
For example, Clevenger told A-J Media, “As this book is not about Buddy and mainly about the Crickets, we did not attempt to talk to Maria (Elena Holly, the singer’s widow).”
At 592 large pages, “The Crickets” may initially intimidate some. Yet the writers maintain a personable, rather than scholastic, approach. The result is a valuable tome, consistently entertaining and informative.
There is love expressed on many pages, and musical history reflected through the words of those who performed alongside the Crickets, as well as those helped or hindered by the Crickets.
Important, too, are collated interviews with the Crickets themselves over the years, conducted by writers with newspapers, magazines, music publications and fan publications. Regretfully, too often missing are the actual dates that each interview took place.
(Also included are a few Crickets interviews published by A-J Media.)
For fans who love the Crickets, and music scholars seeking information about the band’s work with Holly, the Everly Brothers and far beyond, the book is an absolute must for personal and music libraries.
One feels inclined to leave many discoveries to readers, but the first well-researched surprise is the sheer number of Crickets variations between 1957's original band and the final lineup (Allison, Mauldin and Sonny Curtis), the latter having labored between November 2002 and their retirement in February 2015.
28 different Crickets lineups
That final trio was the 28th Crickets lineup, with Allison a sole link between them all. Vocalists afer Holly included Earl Sinks, David Box, Jerry Naylor and several more.
Mind you, while concerts, conclusions and conditions are explored, a number of issues stand out.
No longer is it merely rumor that Holly planned to become a professional music producer in his hometown of Lubbock. Readers will discover many specific facts about his hopes and plans.
The authors move from straight biography to interviews with many who worked with the band or were close friends and associates.
They leave room for comments by friends and younger fans, ranging from reprints of Johnny Hughes’ writings about Holly’s popularity as a young musician in Lubbock, to a young Bill Zauner’s first meeting with the Crickets when Allison’s original home was moved to the Buddy Holly Center.
Musicians’ memories are the most involving and interesting, as they often recall an era’s clothes, cars and challenges. Consider drummer Carl Bunch, who suffered frostbite while riding the freezing bus on Holly’s final Winter Dance Party tour, but with many more memories to share.
The Roses were the only vocal group to tour with the Crickets. An interview with David Bigham, of the Roses, is a wise inclusion. The Roses replaced the Picks in 1958, and work contributed by the latter vocalists may stun readers.
Not a vocal band
After all, the original Crickets were not a vocal band. (After six decades, that may surprise a few.)
The Crickets who were singing on original recordings were Holly and, on a few songs, Niki Sullivan. Allison and Mauldin played drums and bass, and did not sing.
The group that provided the memorable backup vocals for the Crickets on the band's early hits -- and nine songs on the 1957 album “The Chirping Crickets” -- was The Picks, specifically the trio of Bill Pickering, John Pickering and Bob Lapham.
Yet the Picks did not receive any liner credits on that smash 1957 album. Nowhere was it printed that The Picks provided Holly's backup vocals. The trio was not recognized for three decades, not until the classic album was re-released, with corrected credits, in November 1987.
When the Crickets won awards as Best Vocal Group in 1957, certainly intimating that Allison and Mauldin also sang, no one bothered to stand up and call attention to the incorrect credits. That "misunderstanding" lived on.
Lapham reported that he was happy when the Crickets at long last were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in 2012 — Holly had been one of the very first inductees in 1986 — but Lapham also told interviewer Clevenger, “The Crickets stole our legacy with Buddy for their own benefit, I feel, and then proceeded to belittle us. It has made for 57 years of being called liars by people not even there with us.”
Lapham concluded, “Most people still believe the Crickets were a vocal trio.”
No Picks in time line
Almost 100 pages later, John Pickering agreed with Lapham’s statement that the Picks never have been mentioned in the extensive “Buddy Holly Time Line” in the Holly Gallery at the Buddy Holly Center (museum) in Lubbock.
Bill Pickering died in 1985. John Pickering passed away in 2011, and his widow, Vicky Pickering, had expressed to A-J Media her hope that the Lubbock-based Picks would one day be honored on the West Texas Walk of Fame.
She said she always enjoyed following the careers of the Crickets, whom she has known since 1957.
For decades, many, including Holly’s brother, Larry, blamed Clovis, N.M.-based producer Norman Petty for Holly accepting his final, fateful tour. In New York with wife Maria Elena, Holly was almost broke and reportedly had requested cash from royalties that he believed were being held by Petty.
Interviews in this book provide varied explanations, some referring to lawsuits and funds frozen in New York accounts.
No one disputes Allison’s skill as a drummer from an early age. Mauldin would one day be recognized as one of the best bass players in rock ’n’ roll.
Still, more than one interview, including one with George Atwood himself, indicated that Petty added separate bass lines recorded by Atwood to music recorded by Holly and Allison, with credit given to Mauldin.
Numerous references quoted
It is impossible to mention everyone quoted. Interesting are former recording star Buddy Knox’s comments about the principals, Lubbock musician Tinker Carlen’s memories about growing up with Buddy, and local author Johnny Hughes’ reminiscing about his early friendship with Sullivan and card games with Holly.
Unforgettable are brief comments from a 1979 interview with former Cricket Waylon Jennings, who for years carried guilt about his last words with a dear friend. Just as intensely straightforward are many comments from Peggy Sue Gerron, Allison’s first wife and the namesake of the Crickets hit song “Peggy Sue.”
One cannot help but smile as Peggy Sue recalls the young Jerry "J.I." Allison referred to as Jivin’ Ivan.
Gerron mentions Echo Maguire, Holly’s high school girlfriend; Holly’s wife, Maria Elena; and other musicians.
Commanding attention are Gerron’s personal feelings about the obvious factual errors that riddled the 1978 movie “The Buddy Holly Story,” starring Gary Busey.
Warran and Clevinger, who collaborated earlier on the book “Words of Love,” devoted two full years to “The Crickets: Six Decades of Rock ’n’ Roll Memories.” The results, for anyone who appreciates the Crickets and/or music history, are fascinating.
Clevenger said the book can be ordered at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
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