Saturday, November 22, 2014

Buddy Holly's Clovis Connection

(New music at Best Rock and Roll Since Moses page)

Buddy Holly left an incredible amount of great work in a few years and died young, as did Rock and Roll greats Ritchie Valens and Bobby Fuller. Of those tree, two had strong New Mexico connections.

Bobby Fuller's father worked in the oil and gas industry and moved the family from Baytown, TX, where Bobby was born, to Salt Lake City, El Paso, where Fuller first played professionally in bars and clubs, and along the way lived in Hobbs, NM, where brother Randy was born and with whom Bobby would form the Bobby Fuller Four that would hit it big with their recording of I Fought The Law. (See links to music by the Bobby Fuller Four on my Greatest Rock and Roll Since Moses page in the sidebar.)

Norn and Vi Petty

Most of the music Buddy Holly left us was recorded and produced at a small recording studio in Clovis, NM. I'd never heard of Norman Petty, who although most known for recording and producing Holly and the Crickets, who were from nearby Lubbock, TX, also recorded a band that included him and his wife, Vi, that had some commercial success, especially with Mood Indigo that sold half a million copies. Petty recorded many people, some big names and many unknowns, at his Clovis home studio, which apparently is a museum you can see by appointment, according to Wikipedia.

Following are some recordings of Buddy Holly and the Crickets at, where all the music and the wealth of other kinds of material archived there are in the public domain; the copyright has expired and you can download them for free.

Buddy Holly and the Chirping Crickets - 1958 - the complete album. The only album released before Holly's death, it contains That'll Be The Day, which the year before had reached #1 as a single and Oh Boy which reached #11 as a single. Also Maybe Baby and Not Fade Away. One mp3 file. Recorded in Clovis.

Buddy Holly Collection 1-25 - Has Think It Over, Peggy Sue, All My Love All My Kisses, Rave On, etc. This incidentally was posted by someone who goes by the name grimriper, who has posted many, many collections of music off all kinds at, and who is one of my heroes. Individual files.

Buddy Holly The Anthology - Another collection, of 50. I see all the big hits here. Individual files. To download tunes to my computer I use the VBR mp3 files which are lined up at the bottom, below the player. The player will automatically play all the songs if you wish.

Fool's Paradise - Single recorded in Clovis. I was looking for a picture of this record to post with an earlier blog post, which led me to the Buddy Holly and the Crickets collections at

 Miscellaneous Fool's Paradise Trivia: I posted a picture at the bottom of the previous post of a record made by the Cochran Brothers, Fool's Paradise. I couldn't find any information about the single, which I used as a picture because it looked like a better picture than the one of the Crickets recording of Fool's Paradise. I can't even say they're the same song. The Cochran Brothers were an early band of Eddie Cochran, who would gain fame with Summertime Blues, and Hank Cochran, who was unrelated to Eddie. They apparently broke up after 1955.

This interesting tidbit of information was at a youtube post of Fool's Paradise done by a Buddy Holly cover band:

Written by Sonny LeGlaire and Horace Linsley (and Norman Petty added his name as he frequently did) Fool's Paradise was recorded on Valentine's day Feb 14th, 1958 following Niki Sullivan's departure at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico with Buddy , Jerry and Joe B. The Roses did backing vocals. Take Three was the one used in most releases.

Joe B refers to the Crickets bass player, Joe B Mauldin. Jerry would be drummer Jerry Allison who co-wrote with Buddy what we usually think of as Buddy Holly classics Peggy Sue and That'll Be The Day. Niki Sullivan was a Cricket who had quit the band to continue his education.

And then there's this youtube recording of "undubbed take two" of Fool's Paradise.

Bonus Track

When I was in the United States Army in Mainz, West Germany from 1975-1978, I roomed off and on with Bill Mueller from the Charlestown section of Boston, a loud, wild and crazy character who did things like shower in the quadrangle during the rain and who one night shaved a bare circle on the top of his head so it looked like he was bald. Mueller strongly identified with his mother's Irish heritage and for St Patrick's Day painted a shamrock on the bald place.

Mueller always had his stereo going and went to bed with it set to AFN, the US Army station in Frankfurt, West Germany, which annoyed me and kept me awake. I said nothing because late at night they ran a program that I loved called Old Gold Retold.

When the song's opening music came -- Let's Go was by The Routers -- Bill sometimes sang along, but he was asleep when the closing theme came around, Johnny and the Hurricanes Red River Rock, which is one of my all time favorite records. When it was over I got out of bed, switched off Bill's stereo, got back in bed and lay there thinking about all the great things I'd do when I got out of the army.

I was really surprised, flabbergasted, to see both tunes in a collection I happened upon at, The Best Rock Instrumentals - Vol 1,  There are many well known instrumentals here -- Santo and Johnny's Sleep Walk, Dave Baby Cortez' The Happy Organ, Telstar by the Tornadoes, The Ventures' Walk Don't Run, a couple charting songs by Duane Eddy, Johnny Otis' Guitar Boogie, the list, as they say, goes on.

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