The previews for this documentary, and indeed the BBC’s own description of Buddy Holly, all begin in the same backhanded way – he wasn’t much of a looker, but he had great talent.
The career of Buddy Holly and the Crickets was tragically short. There was only an 18 month gap between his single “That’ll Be The Day” being released to his untimely death in a plane crash in Iowa on 3 February 1959, that also killed Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, and would become known as “The Day the Music Died”, as referenced in the Don McLean song “American Pie”.
We witness in this programme how Holly became the first big pop star, in comparison to Elvis Presley becoming the first rock ‘n’ roll star. The misspelt “Crickets” also was the inspiration for the equally inaccurate spelling of “Beatles”. Features contributions from McLean, Brian May, Duane Eddy, Robert Wyatt and Holly’s widow.
Buddy Holly: Rave On is on BBC Four at 22.00.