The “Chirping” Crickets, Buddy Holly & The Crickets
Brunswick, November 27, 1957
Track Listing: 1. Oh, Boy!, 2. Not Fade Away, 3. You’ve Got Love, 4. Maybe Baby, 5. It’s Too Late, 6. Tell Me How, 7. That’ll Be the Day, 8. I’m Looking for Someone to Love, 9. An Empty Cup (And a Broken Date), 10. Send Me Some Lovin’, 11. Last Night, 12. Rock Me My Baby
Mind the gap. It is as inevitable as it is wide, as sure as tomorrow. It is the unavoidable gap that divides generations, leaving parents and children facing off on any number of issues from the style of their clothes to the latest moppy hairdo craze to the perennial pinnacle of all standoffs: the world of music. Lawrence Welk or The Beatles. Neil Diamond / Led Zeppelin. The soft talking trip of Wally Phillips versus the once proud cool of XRT or the LOOP. And now, with XM and Sirius, the number of choices increases in union with the ever-increasing gap. The Colorado River flows on without end through the Canyon. What a sight to behold. Up Hermit Road to Hopi Point, The Abyss, and Hermit’s Rest.
Tonight, we’re driving down Interstate 80, heading west to cow country, and there is an air of agitation simmering fast in the stuffy Delta 88. It is a Hot August Night in January or June or any month. It is always a Hot August Night, the Neil Diamond playing for the umpteenth time.
Weary cries of “Come on,” or “You've got to be kidding me,” won’t change a thing. We know this by now. We’re in the back seat. Mom and Dad are in complete control in front. From where we sit, the radio dials are halfway to Mars.
But, what is this? What is this faint new glimmer of hope? A hand extends in the night, carrying with it a world of possibilities. Is the cassette actually being ejected before it has completed its second or third loop? And then … magic. A rabbit pulled from the hat. It was the sound of a Fender Stratocaster! Oh, what a beautiful sound as the generation gap is suddenly and gloriously sealed. A bridge of common ground extends out from the speakers in the ecstasy of rock and roll. It is Buddy Holly & The Crickets. At last, a truce is reached. Mom and Dad are happy. All three of us kids are overjoyed. The peace is met with a jubilation that can no longer be contained.
“All of my love
All of my kissin’
You don’t know what you’ve been a-missin’
Oh boy, when you’re with me
Oh boy, the world can see
That you, were meant, for me”
-from “Oh, Boy!”
I’d heard my dad tell the story of the crash and the “Winter Dance Party” tour that he had tickets for. He still went to the show at the Les-Buzz Ballroom in Spring Valley, Illinois on Saturday, February 7, 1959, just four days after the crash. That very same day, Buddy Holly was laid to rest in his home town of Lubbock, Texas. The Crickets finished the tour with Ronnie Smith as lead vocalist. Jimmy Clanton, Fabian & Frankie Avalon were substituted as headliners. The show must go on, and so on it went. It’s still going strong nearly five decades later.
They were wrong. Everybody knows this by now. There was no way this music could ever die.