Rave on, Buddy Holly!
The rock-and-roll pioneer would have been 75 today and all sorts of admirers are lining up to celebrate the late legend.
“We are trying to keep Buddy Holly’s name alive so younger generations can appreciate it the way I do,” says Brian Wilson, who contributes the title track to the “Listen to Me: Buddy Holly” compilation, which also features Ringo Starr, Stevie Nicks, Lyle Lovett and Cobra Starship tackling Holly classics. “Buddy is unique. He matters because his music is timeless.”
“Rave on Buddy Holly” -- another compilation of Holly hits that features covers from Paul McCartney, The Black Keys and She & Him – was released in June.
However, it may be another album, Paul Burch & WPA Ballclub’s “Words of Love: Songs of Buddy Holly” that carries Holly’s torch best.
Burch – one of Americana’s most sought-after collaborators – recaptures Holly’s mix of tenderness and strutting on “Not Fade Away,” combining acoustic jangle with plugged-in rockabilly. On the stripped-back “Everyday,” Burch’s sweet, simple vocals take center stage, while “Peggy Sue” is all about the chiming rock guitar riffs and driving drums.
Given Holly’s tragic death in 1959 at the age of 22, there will always be questions about what could have been, but the current celebration of his legacy shows how much he accomplished in the two short years of his career.