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Subject: Re: Buddy Holly's place in history

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Date Posted: Tue January 19, 2016 10:34:43
In reply to: Greg 's message, "Re: Buddy Holly's place in history" on Thu January 14, 2016 20:02:45

This discussion seems to have focused on 2 primary areas: Buddy's popularity during his lifetime and the impact on rock-n-roll his music had from 1957-58(9). And then there's the discussion of the influence he had in the decades after his death.

I think Buddy's legacy benefited greatly because of the tragic way he lost his life. His star was fading fast. I think songs like "Heartbeat," "Lonesome Tears," and "It's So Easy" are fantastic, but they were getting very little attention at the time of their release, both from the record company and the public. But his death created a market for people hungry to get every piece of music available. Even then, the posthumous Petty overdubs didn't exactly conquer the charts. But I think at least some of the people buying this glut of Buddy music that was suddenly compiled on albums and re-released were the future musicians that would impact popular music in years to come.

I believe the tragic way he lost his life elevated his career to the stuff of legend. He didn't get to pursue his "Bobby" phase or have the opportunity to explore a career in country music the way Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins and 1970s Elvis Presley did. Buddy was a forever young and vital 22-year-old figure in rock-n-roll. I think that helped him get the attention of emerging young musicians who would later cite his music as a big influence in their careers. As the years passed and people like myself who weren't alive during Buddy's lifetime discovered his music and the artists who trumpeted him as this great inspiration, the perception is that Buddy was as big during the 50s as his legend had now become. In my opinion, the legendary status is deserved because of the influence on future musicians and the quality of the work he left behind. I am certain it wasn't appreciated during his lifetime, but it is worthy of appreciation now.

Two other artists died in that crash, and while their musical legacies are celebrated, their careers aren't given nearly the attention of Buddy Holly's. Eddie Cochran's tragic death helped raise his eternal profile. But most people wouldn't consider his music as vital as Buddy Holly's. So it isn't JUST the plane crash that made Buddy a legend. I feel the music matters. And I feel Buddy's body of work stands up to comparison with just about any other artist of the same time period, even if it didn't get the attention or exposure at the time it was created.

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Subject Author Date
Re: Buddy Holly's place in historyLothar PeddTue January 19, 2016 12:15:45

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