Buddy Holly Performs On ‘Ed Sullivan’ On This Date In 1957

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It’s not a stretch to say that Buddy Holly launched modern rock as the world has come to know it along with artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis Presley. While Buddy opened for Presley in the mid-1950s in the former’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas — prompting Buddy to drop his country-western style and adopt a more straight forward rock n’ roll sound — Holly was more like Berry and Richard in that he wrote his own songs. A fact showcased on Buddy Holly And The Crickets 1957 debut album, The Chirpin’ Crickets, which contained a number of original Holly compositions.

Across the pond in an English port town called Liverpool, a fledgling schoolboy band called the Quarrymen got their hands on some Crickets records and decided to change their name to The Beatles in honor of the American band. Buddy Holly, and the fact that he wrote his own songs, was a big influence on The Beatles and many other ’60s rock legends including The Rolling Stones who had an early hit with Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” While many point to The Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964 as the day the rock revolution started, The Beatles’ Sullivan performance may never have happened without Holly’s appearance in 1957.

Buddy Holly And The Crickets made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on this date, December 1, in 1957. They would perform the classics “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be The Day” from the recently released The Chirpin’ Crickets. The appearance would send the songs to the top of the charts in the U.S. but perhaps more importantly in the U.K. as well, where Holly would influence and inspire a generation of British rock bands and artists like The Beatles, The Stones and many more.

Sadly, just over two years after his first Sullivan appearance, Holly died in a tragic plane crash — on February 3, 1959 — along with rock stars Richie Valens and The Big Bopper, the infamous “Day The Music Died.” To celebrate Holly’s short but incredibly prolific and influential life and career, check out Buddy Holly And The Crickets performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957 below:

Peggy Sue

That’ll Be The Day