Today would have been the 75th birthday of the rock and roll pioneer who died at 22 in the 1959 plane crash that also killed Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson. At 11:30 a.m. outside the Capitol Records building, Holly's widow Maria Elena Holly will accept his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Musicians Phil Everly and Peter Asher and actor Gary Busey, who starred in the 1978 film "The Buddy Holly Story," are scheduled to speak. Later tonight, a concert at The Music Box with Asher, Stevie Nicks, Lyle Lovett, Graham Nash and others performing will be filmed for a PBS special airing in December. Asher produced Listen to Me: Buddy Holly, an album released Tuesday of favorite Buddy Holly songs performed by Nicks, Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Linda Ronstadt, Jeff Lynne, Jackson Browne, Chris Isaak, Natalie Merchant, Zooey Deschanel and others. Randy Lewis in the L.A. Times discusses the album.
The day is a pretty big deal in Holly's hometown of Lubbock, Texas, where a local fan gets credit for doing the heavy lifting on the Walk of Fame star. If you have no idea how Buddy Holly shaped the music you listen to, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will help you out:
Buddy Holly played rock and roll for only two short years, but the wealth of material he recorded in that time made a major and lasting impact on popular music. Holly was an innovator who wrote his own material and was among the first to exploit such advanced studio techniques as double-tracking. He pioneered and popularized the now-standard rock-band lineup of two guitars, bass and drums.
The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, among others, have all credited Holly as an inspiration for their music.
Photo: Memorial to Holly near the Iowa crash site where he died.