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 Buddy Holly’s legacy endures in Nashville

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Nombre de messages : 41735
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MessageSujet: Buddy Holly’s legacy endures in Nashville   Sam 12 Nov 2011, 14:55

Buddy Holly’s legacy endures in Nashville




Posted on November 10, 2011 by Peter Cooper



Fifty-five years ago, next Tuesday.

11/15/56.

That’s the last time Buddy Holly recorded in Nashville, and it didn’t work out. Epic fail. A busteroo, and it
looked like the end of the line for the glasses-wearing boy from Lubbock, Texas.

He’d just turned 20, one of his favorite self-penned songs, “That’ll Be the Day,” had already been proclaimed
by one Decca Records music executive to be “the worst song I’ve ever heard,” and the November session’s
“Modern Don Juan” yielded nothing in the way of a country hit. Decca executive Paul Cohen reportedly wound
up calling Holly “the biggest no-talent I’ve ever worked with.”

By November of ’57, though, things were different. Holly was working in rock ’n’ roll, not country, and
recording in Clovis, N.M., rather than Nashville. “That’ll Be the Day” was a smash, “Peggy Sue” was on its way
up, and Holly had just turned 21. He had 14 more months before the real-deal end of the line: A plane crash
that also claimed the lives of performers Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson.

Holly would have been 75 this year. His musical legacy is about 54 years old, though, and it’s looking young
and spry. Across the world, musicians have been paying tribute in various ways, and Nashville singer-
songwriter Paul Burch and his WPA Ballclub band have released one of the more appealing tributes, in the
form of Words of Love: Songs of Buddy Holly, an album of Holly songs available on vinyl and digitally (no
CDs, no cassette tapes, no reel-to-reel).

“He wasn’t a mile wide and an inch deep,” Burch said. “Buddy Holly was a great music man. With him, it’s not
just cheeseburgers and Coca-Cola and ‘Peggy Sue.’ ”

Not that there’s anything wrong with “Peggy Sue.” (Or with the others, unless you or your doctor have
something against saturated fat or high-fructose corn syrup.) Burch and the Ballclub cover “Peggy Sue”
marvelously on Words of Love, with drummer Tommy Perkinson pounding out the paradiddles and Burch
providing a churning guitar solo.

“When I was 9 or 10, I found out the Beatles had listened to Buddy Holly, so I got a greatest hits album,”
Burch said. “On ‘Peggy Sue,’ I remember being fascinated with the guitar changes throughout the song. Buddy
would use the pickup switch on the guitar to go from clear to muddy and back to clear. That song was a world
unto itself, and I responded to that as a kid, and still respond to it now. I also respond to the rhythm, which is
really important in Holly’s music. He had a really great beat, and a lot of that was Jerry (J.I.) Allison.”

Allison, Holly’s drummer in his band, The Crickets, lives in Middle Tennessee and still plays with a great beat.
Burch thought about asking him to play on Words of Love, but The Crickets have already been involved with
plenty of Holly tributes, and there seemed an admirable purity of intent to Burch’s relaxed, me-and-
my-friends approach to celebrating what Burch called Holly’s “ineffable wonderfulness.”

Burch, Perkinson, Jen Gunderman, Martin Lynds, Jim Gray, Dennis Crouch, Fats Kaplin, Will Kimbrough, Kenny
Vaughan, Henry Burch and Paul Thacker treated the songs as living entities, not as museum pieces, and the
goal was revelation, not replication. They sought to offer a belated thumbs-up, in the town that was less than
kind to Holly. Turns out the kid with the glasses wasn’t a no-talent, he was just terrible at doing what Nashville
executives wanted him to do, which was to mimic the sounds and styles of the day.

“I imagine what Holly got from his experience here was what a lot of people did who came to Nashville back
then,” Burch said. “A lot of people were told, ‘You’re not one of us.’ Holly was very independent, and like a lot
of independent people, he must have thought that what he had to do was something that hadn’t been invented yet.”

And so he invented it, sometime after the Nashville debacle of Nov. 15, 1956, before the tragic plane crash of
Feb. 3, 1959. There likely would have been more inventions: The Holly who boarded that sad and doomed
little airplane was working to expand his creative world and to broaden his skill set.

“He was thinking about what was on the horizon,” Burch said. “He was ready to make investments that he
wasn’t sure would pay off, and I find that inspiring. A lot of musicians find their thing, and then they grind it
into the ground by doing it over and over again. Holly remained open to being surprised.”


Source : HERE





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