50th Anniversary of ‘The Day The Music Died’ Inspires Multi-Disc Buddy Holly Packages:

MEMORIAL COLLECTION With All His Hits and More, and DOWN THE LINE – RARITIES With the Complete Undubbed ‘Apartment Tapes’ and Undubbed ‘Garage Tapes’

Each Set Includes Numerous Rare Tracks

February 3, 2009 will mark the 50th anniversary of “The Day The Music Died,” when a plane crash took the lives of rock ‘n’ roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.  In anticipation of that momentous occasion, the vault of rare Buddy Holly tracks will be opened wide for two multi-disc sets released January 28, 2009.

The three-CD, 60-selection MEMORIAL COLLECTION (Geffen/Decca/UMe), presents a thorough, digitally remastered overview of Holly’s short, yet astonishing career featuring rare undubbed recordings with original partner Bob Montgomery and backing band and collaborators, The Crickets. The collection includes all of Holly’s hits — among them a few of rock’s greatest recordings, “That’ll Be The Day,” “Oh Boy!,” “Maybe Baby,” “Not Fade Away,” “It’s So Easy,” “Peggy Sue,” “Rave On” — the set concludes with selections from the “Apartment Tapes,” in which Holly sings new songs and accompanies himself on acoustic guitar in his New York apartment just months before the tragic crash.  One Buddy & Bob recording, “Soft Place In My Heart,” has never before been released while two others from the duo appear on a U.S.-issued album for the first time.  “The release of these sets will be a magical moment for the fans who have been waiting for a long time to hear the beginnings of Buddy’s career to the end with the apartment tapes, his last recordings! Holly-lujah!” – Maria Elena Holly

The two-CD, 59-selection DOWN THE LINE – RARITIES (Geffen/UMe), is filled with pre-fame home recordings, alternate takes, undubbed versions, and informal solo tapes.  Included is a recording from when Holly was 14 years old; from Buddy & Bob; the complete undubbed “Apartment Tapes”; outtakes and alternates of familiar recordings by Holly and The Crickets; and the undubbed “Garage Tapes.” In “The Garage Tapes,” rehearsals with the Crickets (J.I. Allison and Joe B. Mauldin) were recorded by a friend at various places, including the Holly family garage in late 1956. Buddy ripped through an array of then-current hits, from Chuck Berry’s “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man,” Little Richard’s “Rip It Up,” and Fats Domino’s “Blue Monday,” to Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes,” Big Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle & Roll,” and Bo Diddley’s “Bo Diddley.”

Cricket J.I Allison fondly recalls laying down some of those famous recordings. “Many of the tunes were done just in Buddy’s garage but I remember doing a few of them like ‘Bo Diddley’ and ‘Brown-Eyed Handsome Man,’ way out West at Petty’s studio in Clovis, NM. The line-up was Buddy, myself on drums, Sonny Curtis on guitar and Don Guess on bass.”

The undubbed “Apartment Tapes,” include Buddy’s raw, pre-overdubbed versions of such popular Holly songs as “Peggy Sue Got Married” and “Crying, Waiting, Hoping.”

Along with the U.S. debuts of three “Apartment Tapes” tracks and the undubbed “Holly Hop” (from the “Garage Tapes”) that are heard on both the MEMORIAL COLLECTION and DOWN THE LINE – RARITIES, the latter also releases for the first time anywhere three additional Buddy & Bob tracks.  Throughout both retrospectives, the original recordings, shorn of the overdubbed instrumentation added in the early ’60s for belated public consumption, are musical and historical revelations.

In less than two years in the national consciousness, Holly changed the sound of rock ‘n’ roll.  Steeped in country music, the Lubbock, Texas native soon blended in blues, R&B, and the new Elvis-fired rockabilly.  The result was some of the most innovative and influential rock ‘n’ roll ever recorded. Buddy Holly died on February 3, 1959, but his music lives on.


Maria Elena Holly and J.I. Allison are available for interviews.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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