Buddy Holly Buddy Holly (Coral) Without Elvis, there would be no rock'n'roll. But without Buddy Holly there would be no rock'n'roll as we know it. Holly and his group, the Crickets, standardised the two guitars-bass-drums-vocals lineup that became the foundation of rock music. He was one of the first performers to write his own songs and one of the first to use overdubs in recording. He was a big influence on the Beatles, who chose their name - an adaptation of the word 'beetles' - as a tribute to the Crickets. He even influenced the Rolling Stones, who had an early hit with his song Not Fade Away. Holly, who died in a plane crash in 1959, was always an unlikely rock star. Gangly and bespectacled, he had neither the sex appeal of Elvis nor the rebellious attitude of Jerry Lee Lewis. Holly's success was founded on musical talent alone. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1936, and began his musical career singing bluegrass. He saw Elvis in 1956, and decided that rock'n'roll was for him. After making an unsuccessful debut on Decca Records, he switched to the Coral label and its subsidiary, Brunswick. Two LPs, The 'Chirping' Crickets and Buddy Holly were the result. The 1957 single That'll Be the Day, which is featured on The 'Chirping' Crickets LP, was the song that made Holly a star. Based on a line that John Wayne growled in the western The Searchers, the track features Holly's trademark vocal warble and two stinging guitar solos. The second album, Buddy Holly, followed a mere three months later, in an effort to capitalise on his success. Coral thought it'd clean up if it gave the fans something slightly different, so it was released as a Buddy Holly solo LP, even though it still featured the Crickets. Buddy Holly was the prototype for the pop sound of the next decade. The lead guitars jangle merrily, the songs are carefully structured, and the musical arrangements are sparse and effective. This second LP is mellower than Holly's debut, but it still contains one out-and-out rocker, Peggy Sue. The thrashing guitar riff of Peggy Sue - which was the name of Crickets drummer Jerry Allison's fianc?e - made Holly a big star in Britain. The Beatles loved Holly and covered Words of Love on Beatles for Sale. The Fab Four's version is a carbon copy of Holly's original - it has the same jangly guitar riff, vocal harmonies and even the same mix. The Beatles also performed Holly's lonesome Mailman Bring Me No More Blues in an energetic jam session that can be found on Anthology 3. Paul McCartney remains a Holly fan. He even bought his entire publishing catalogue in 1977. Other standout tracks include the pop classic Rave On and the melodious Everyday. Holly split with the Crickets after this LP and began work on a solo album. The new tracks were unfinished at the time of his death, although they still had a posthumous release. On the evidence of Buddy Holly, who knows what musical heights he would have scaled had he lived.