Rave On Buddy Holly

Father’s Day got me thinking about how certain music sticks out in my memory as being omnipresent throughout my childhood. My dad loved early rock & roll, and even in the darkest depths of my angsty, Jnco-wearing, Nirvana-obsessed, “NO MOM I don’t CARE if my hair’s in my eyes and I can’t see anything” middle school days, I never lost the appreciation my dad instilled in me for a few canonical artists. Among the most sacred of these was Buddy Holly, and little did I know when I wrote last week about “The Day the Music Died” that NPR was just days away from throwing us a First Listen of the new, star-studded tribute album, Rave On Buddy Holly. The list of contributors is impressive, with legends like Paul McCartney, Lou Reed, and Patti Smith among them, but what makes the track list even more remarkable is the quality of the music that Holly released in just a three-year recording career. “True Love Ways” … “That’ll Be the Day” … “Peggy Sue” … “Everyday” … “Oh Boy!” … so many of his songs have become part of the fabric of American culture, and it’s easy to see his influence all across the musical spectrum. Buddy Holly is also proof that the truest songs sound simple, as if they occurred naturally and were picked off the vine at just the right moment, and it’s a treat to hear so many accomplished musicians offer their interpretations. You can sample some of the songs from Rave On Buddy Holly below, and you can hear the rest at NPR’s First Listen up until the record is released on June 28.

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