|Subject: Re: Buddy's Letter to Norman Petty
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Date Posted: Sat January 13, 2018 13:06:53
In reply to:
's message, "Re: Buddy's Letter to Norman Petty" on Wed January 10, 2018 12:35:24
Ben, the "third party" was one Manny Greenfield, a music promoter. I found a full statement from Griggs himself concerning Buddy, Norman Petty and Buddy's finances at <a rel=nofollow target=_blank href="http://www.musicdish.com/mag/index.php3?id=8749">http://www.musicdish.com/mag/index.php3?id=8749</a>
Here is an excerpt:
The story of Norman Petty and his business dealings with the artists is a long and involved one. I'll try to be brief:
I've talked to several West Texas artists from the 1950s who recorded with Norman Petty and was told the same story by all. They had no money, but had written a good song. Norman heard it and then made the following proposition: "I'll record this and get it to the New York publishers and record companies. As they know me, I'll put my name on the song with yours. If the song makes it, then we'll all share. If it doesn't, then I'll take the loss." In my opinion, this is simply a business decision.
Consider this: Colonel Parker had 50% of Elvis Presley. Is that fair? Yes, it is fair because it was a business deal that both parties agreed to. It might not be moral, but the courts only look at legal, and that was legal.
Now for Buddy and Norman: As I've said, I've been privileged to [having] seen much of the paperwork generated by Buddy Holly and the Crickets during their tenure with Norman Petty. I've seen the entire run of checks written on the Crickets' account--also receipts, letters, contracts and such. I've been able to deduce much from all of that. When asked about the money earned by Buddy and the Crickets that was supposed to have been in that checking account and wasn't, Norman always said, "The boys nickeled and dimed that account to death." Having seen the checking account, I can say that they did just that.
There were many payouts for advances, car parts, and the like. I'm not saying this wasn't their money. It was, and they could do whatever they wanted with it. Royalty checks take a long time to trickle down to the artist. After the payment report (usually a month of two past the period covered), it might be another four to six months before the actual payment gets to the artist. Because of this, Buddy only saw one good royalty check during his lifetime. He received a check on August 26, 1958 for $14,462.74.
Let's talk about Buddy's financial condition during the last six months of his life and Manny Greenfield. Manny Greenfield had booked the group on the Dick Clark Show, the English tour, and many other venues. In return, he and Buddy had had a word of mouth agreement that Manny would receive a 5% commission on anything that he booked. These commissions were dutifully paid and I have the receipts and checks as proof. Sometime around July or August of 1958, Manny Greenfield felt he was Buddy's manager and should be receiving a commission on ALL of Buddy's earnings. "Not so," said Buddy. "Norman Petty is my manager and you are a booker who receives a 5% commission on anything you have booked for us."
Manny Greenfield then sued Buddy, through Norman. Because Manny lived in New York, and because Buddy lived (at the time) in Texas, and because there was a law that stated [that] if you are suing someone out-of-state about money generated in New York, then you could freeze those payments until the lawsuit was settled. This is exactly what Mr. Greenfield did.
There are stories that Norman Petty said he could make Buddy return [from New York] because he'd hold back his payments [if he didn't]. Norman couldn't have held back those payments because he didn't have those payments in the first place. They were frozen in New York. There is correspondence and other communications between Norman, Buddy, and various attorneys about this. Norman was trying to get those funds unfrozen so he could pay Buddy what was owed him.
Much of what I'm talking about, including the actual text of many of those legal letters, appear in my five-volume booklet set, "Buddy Holly Day-By-Day." I have copies of all of that so [I] can back up all that I had published. I'm not taking sides, only going where the facts lead me. If you were Norman Petty, being unfairly attacked from all sides, would you want to sit and give an interview? I guess not.
I've spoken with Norman Petty many times and, looking back, he was always honest with me with his answers to my questions. The only outright lie I could catch him in was the fact that he told many people [that] he was writing a book. After his death, Vi Petty said there never was any such book. I really wish there had been.
Why was Norman Petty left out of the movie? Instead of bashing Norman without facts, I wish some of these people would seek out that answer. I think it would open a lot of eyes. If Buddy Holly and Norman Petty really had a fallout, then I ask why Norman was named in Buddy's new company, Prism. Petty's name appears on the business cards and he had already bought shipping labels and other supplies for the fledgling company that never really got off the ground.
[Buddy’s mother], Mrs Ella Holley told me that Buddy had told her he was going to live in New York city for two years. While there (remember, back then it was the center of the music business), he would get to know all of the various music publishers and record label owners to be used for contacts. He'd then return to Lubbock in 1960 to build and operate his own recording studio. He had already purchased the property, had plans drawn up, and was talking to friends of his in Lubbock to come work for him. I believe that Buddy simply wanted to have total control over his music. He'd have the recording studio, a publishing company, a record label, and I'm sure, had he lived, he would have built a record pressing plant.
In my opinion, Norman Petty was a bad manager, learning as he went along. But I can not find him willfully "ripping" off the guys. Sure, it might still be hidden somewhere and I haven't found it yet. I doubt it, but should that be discovered, I'll certainly print that and tell everyone what was found.
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