LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Rock-and-roll pioneer Buddy Holly will posthumously receive the 2,447th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday marking the 75th anniversary of his birth.
Holly’s widow, Maria Elena Holly, will accept the honor on his behalf in a late-morning ceremony in front of the Capitol Records building on Vine Street.
Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, who played several shows together with Holly; Gary Busey, who received a best actor Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Holly in the 1978 film “The Buddy Holly Story;” and Peter Asher, the longtime record industry executive and manager who produced “Listen to Me: Buddy Holly,” where a variety of singers recorded their favorite Holly songs, are also scheduled to speak at the ceremony.
Born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas, on Sept. 7, 1936, Holly learned to play guitar, piano and fiddle at an early age. After high school, he formed the Western and Bop Band, a country-oriented act that performed regularly at a Lubbock radio station and opened for acts that came into the city.
Holly was signed by Decca in early 1956, recording demos and singles in Nashville, Tenn., under the name Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes.
A turning point in his career came when he opened a show at the Lubbock Youth Center for Elvis Presley, which hastened his switch from country and western to rock ‘n’ roll.
On Feb. 25, 1957, Holly and a revised band lineup, now dubbed the Crickets, recorded “That’ll be the Day” at the Clovis, N.M., studio of producer Norman Petty, leading to a contract with the Coral and Brunswick
In the 18 months from when Buddy Holly and the Crickets hit the charts with “That’ll be the Day” to his death, Holly had 27 Top 40 hits worldwide.
Holly was a pioneer in several ways, influencing many groups and singers, including the Beatles. His band was one of the first four-piece rock ‘n’ roll bands — two guitars, bass and drums — that wrote, arranged, played and recorded its own songs in the studio, creating the blueprint for rock bands around the world.
He was one of the first artists to tour with his band, performing his hits before live audiences, as well as on television.
A monthlong tour of England in 1958, which included two television appearances, gave British youth their first exposure of an American rock ‘n’ roll band.
Holly was killed along with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper on Feb. 3, 1959, when the private plane they were on crashed in an Iowa cornfield as they headed to Moorhead, Minn., to perform.
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