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Not Fade Away
The Life and Music of Buddy Holly
Science writer John Gribbin’s popular biography of Buddy Holly – his first ever non-science title – originally published on the 50th anniversary of Holly’s tragic death. Buddy Holly was killed at 22 when the plane he was travelling in crashed on 3 February 1959. Although this was less than two years after Holly’s first hit record, Don McLean described this as ‘the day the music died.’ But Sonny Curtis, Holly’s friend and musical colleague, told us that the music didn’t die, because ‘Buddy Holly lives every time you play rock’n’roll.’ More than fifty years after Holly’s death, his lasting influence on pop is clear; a musical based on his life has run for longer than Holly was alive. The Beatles chose That’ll Be the Day by Buddy’s group The Crickets as their first attempt at recording, as well taking inspiration for their name. Clearly, the music didn’t die! John Gribbin, an ardent fan since he was 12 presents this labour of love written in the spirit of Sonny Curtis’ lyric, as a celebration of Holly’s all too brief life, and as an introduction, for all those not around in 1959, to the man and his astonishing musical legacy. It also includes – uniquely – a full and detailed account of every Holly recording session, which any Buddy fan will devour.
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