Not Fade Away

Buddy Holly’s music career lasted three years and he only released three albums during that time, but his legacy and influence still lasts to this day. Today is the 75th anniversary of the Texan singer’s birth and a couple of tribute albums have already been released this year to commemorate this event. Listen to Me and Rave on Buddy Holly are the titles of these two compilations and both feature a host of acts that have come along in the five decades since Holly’s death. Zooey Deschanel appears on both albums, singing It’s So Easy on the former and Oh Boy, as part of She & Him, on the latter. Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne and former Beatle Ringo Starr all appear on Listen to Me, while the only other surviving Beatle appears on Rave On Buddy Holly. McCartney also sings It’s So Easy and you can find Patti Smith, Lou Reed and over a dozen more contemporary artists on the album. Of course, many performers have paid tribute to Buddy over the years and today I’ll have a look at some of those

The Beatles were one of the first bands to pay tribute to Holly when they recorded Words of Love in 1964 for their fourth album, Beatles For Sale. John Lennon also chose Peggy Sue as one of the tracks on his 1975 Rock ‘n’ Roll album. Also in 1964, The Rolling Stones’ version of Not Fade Away became the band’s first top five hit in the UK and their first single to be released in the States. The Californian band The Flamin’ Groovies recorded their take on That’ll Be the Day in 1971. Later that decade, Blondie’s version of I’m Gonna Love You Too did not seem out of place on their hugely successful Parallel Lines LP. The final five covers are more recent, while the remaining two songs pay tribute to Buddy in different ways. Weezer released their song as the second single from their first self-titled album exactly 17 years ago today. The song isn’t really about Holly, but about the singer’s physical resemblance to him. Ted Chippington’s Feel Like Buddy Holly is an hilarious piss-take of Alvin Stardust’s similarly titled 1984 UK top ten hit. In the original, the singer feels lonesome for a lost love as he listens to some old 45s. In the chorus, he claims he feels like Buddy Holly “cause it’s raining in my heart”. In his parody, Ted Chippington tries to offer him some sage advice. Buddy Holly also sang other people’s songs and amongst the best of these were his interpretations of a couple by Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. The Elvis song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who were both born three years before Holly. Stoller is still alive, but Leiber died last month. Buddy died in the 1959 airplane crash that also claimed the lives of Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and Roger Peterson. Mr Peterson is not as well known as the other three. He was the pilot on the so-called day the music died

Words Of Love (Buddy Holly cover) – The Beatles

Peggy Sue (Buddy Holly cover) – John Lennon

Not Fade Away (Buddy Holly cover) – The Rolling Stones

That’ll Be The Day (Buddy Holly cover) – The Flamin’ Groovies

I’m Gonna Love You Too (Buddy Holly cover) – Blondie

Everyday (Buddy Holly cover) – Elin Palmer

It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Buddy Holly cover) – Serena Ryder

Crying, Waiting, Hoping (Buddy Holly cover) – Cat Power

Well … All Right (Buddy Holly cover) – Albert Hammond, Jr

Blue Days, Black Nights (Buddy Holy cover) – Chris Isaak

Buddy Holly – Rivers Cuomo

Feel Like Buddy Holly – Ted Chippington

Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry cover) – Buddy Holly

(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Elvis Presley cover) – Buddy Holly