Universal Music to release on DVD the definitive sight and sound of a Rock & Roll Pioneer:
The Music of Buddy Holly and The Crickets

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Fifty years ago this autumn, Buddy Holly and fellow musician Bob Montgomery stepped on stage to open shows in Texas for Elvis Presley and Bill Haley & the Comets. Within five years of those gigs, Holly had sealed a reputation of his own, en route to becoming one of the popular, influential performers in rock & roll, and the creator of some of the most important records in 20th century popular music.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Holly's emergence in the vanguard of rock & roll, Universal Music International will release the definitive package in sound and vision of his most popular recordings, The Music of Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

This limited-edition DVD combines archive footage and live TV performances with vintage clips and brand new interview material, to illuminate how Holly became an icon of rock's first generation through a succession of landmark recordings for Decca, Brunswick and Coral Records.

Every interview has been carried out specifically for this programme, for the most part in Lubbock, Texas. All the important players in the Buddy Holly phenomenon, who are still alive, are included. This 103-minute programme has been extensively researched and has been a year in the making.

The release, of course, features all those classic Holly hits, such as "That'll Be The Day," "Peggy Sue," "It's So Easy," "Rave On," "Maybe Baby," and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," plus both of the live performances by the singer and the Crickets from American TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1957-58. The second time Buddy and the guys were on Sullivan, they performed 'Oh Boy!' It is the finest live performance of the band to have been taped and is rarely shown. Our programme shows this performance, complete and uncut, and in 16:9 format with enhanced picture quality for the very first time.... anywhere.

The Music of Buddy Holly and the Crickets DVD also includes a bonus CD with 20 tracks chosen by the musician's colleagues and friends as personal favourites, and as defining examples of Holly's legacy. Along with the hits there are some surprise tracks, too.

Featured in the programme are:

Jerry (J.I.) Allison, the singer's closest friend and a founder member, as drummer, of the group which propelled them both to stardom, the Crickets;

Joe B.Mauldin, an original member of the Crickets who played bass and recorded with Holly as his career and popularity soared;

Sonny Curtis, Holly's boyhood friend who played guitar on the very first Decca recordings in 1956; a music legend he went on to write rock classics 'I Fought The Law' and the Everly Brothers smash, 'Walk Right Back'

Tommy Allsup, the guitarist whose virtuosity persuaded Holly that he should play lead on "It's So Easy," "Heartbeat" and other key recordings. It was Allsup who gave up his seat to Ritchie Valens on the aircraft which took Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper to their tragic deaths on February 2, 1959. A musician's musician, Tommy has played on 10,000 sessions.

Jack Neal, a songwriter who not only taught Buddy to play guitar, but who was also the first person to perform with him live on radio and television in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas, in 1953.

Carl Bunch, drummer on the ill-fated final tour on which Buddy would die in a plane crash. He talks about the horror of what is often described as 'the worst planned rock & roll tour of all time'. He was hospitalised with frostbite and missed Buddy's final two appearances.

Sonny West, a Texas rockabilly singer and songwriter who wrote two of Buddy's, two of rock & roll's, greatest songs, 'Oh Boy!' and 'Rave On'. In the programme he also plays his own versions of them live and talks about how they were written.

Peggy Sue Gerron, (the real Peggy Sue) talks about life at Lubbock High School and her group of friends who included Buddy and The Crickets. She witnessed their rise to fame and shared their excitement.

Buddy used three sets of backing singers on his Clovis sessions during his career. They are all represented in the programme. Gary & Ramona Tollett, John Pickering of The Picks and Ray Rush of The Roses. Buddy's death spelled a premature end to a record label, called Prism, which he was setting up with Ray Rush. Rush discusses what he feels the future would have held for Holly, had it not been for the fatal plane crash.

Long-time Lubbock disc-jockey, Larry Byers, remembers Buddy in the early days and his appearances at KDAV radio's 'Sunday Party' and Lawson's Roller Rink, whilst 'Sunday Party' regular, Jack Davis, recalls the early days of Buddy 'live' at the radio station, too.

One of TV's biggest names, Des O'Connor, talks on camera about his time as compere on the Buddy Holly and The Crickets tour of the UK in early 1958. O'Connor was the young up-coming comedian, still looking for his big break, when he landed the Holly tour. His memories, as you would expect, are witty and full of admiration for the man with whom he toured the UK for a month, taking in life on the tour bus and laughs at provincial English hotels.

George Tomsco, the guitarist from The Fireballs who Norman Petty called on to overdub the acoustic demos Buddy had been working on shortly before his death, shares his feelings on this process and gives an insiders view of the Petty studio in detail.

Several of these contributors have rarely been interviewed on camera. This is the largest number of relevant Buddy Holly people to ever appear in the same programme. Barry Barnes who also wrote and directed the programme conducted all interviews. Biographical details about the interviewees accompany the package in a beautifully illustrated 24-page booklet written by Lubbock-based Holly historian Bill Griggs and designed by one of the UK's top designers, Matt Curtis.

The voices of the late Norman Petty and Dick Jacobs are also heard, with excerpts taken from never-before-aired interviews. There is footage of the legendary Norman Petty studio in Clovis, New Mexico, where most of Holly's hits were recorded, kindly loaned by the Violet Petty Estate, specially for this programme.

And there's new footage shot at the Lubbock High School theatre, which is still exactly the same as when Buddy played there... the Fair Park Coliseum, where Buddy saw Elvis in a life-changing moment and beautifully shot images of the Holly statue in downtown Lubbock. The programme is narrated by Paul Gambaccini.

An unusual feature of the DVD is a collection of Animated Video Galleries created from Holly memorabilia, cut to his and The Crickets music and really making it come alive. This was carried out at London's legendary Abbey Road studio.

As the programme says at its conclusion,
Such a short life. Such a giant legacy. Leaving his own great recordings and inspiring British groups of the sixties like The Beatles, The Stones and The Hollies. Buddy Holly is one of the greatest men of rock & roll.

Enhanced Picture Quality

Language: English

Subtitled: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese
Length: 103 Minutes
Region Code: 0 - All Regions
Screen Format: 16:9 Dolby Stereo 2.0

(p) 2005 Universal Music International
Universal DVD 0602498274491

Universal CD 06024986706091

Released 27th June 2005

In North America, the DVD/CD package will be released via Universal's Geffen label and will be titled "The Definitive Collection."


DVD Juke Box - Track List

  1. Blue days, black nights
  2. Modern Don Juan
  3. Rock around with Ollie Vee
  4. Brown eyed handsome man
  5. I'm looking for someone to love
  6. Tell me how
  7. Words of love
  8. Everyday
  9. An empty cup and a broken date
 10. Fool's Paradise
 11. Take your time
 12. Heartbeat
 13. Wishing
 14. True love ways

only when you PLAY ALL there is an additional song:
 15. Peggy Sue got married


Top Twenty Bonus CD - Track List

  1. That'll Be the Day
  2. Not Fade Away
  3. Everyday
  4. Peggy Sue
  5. Listen to Me
  6. Oh Boy
  7. Send Me Some Lovin'
  8. It's Too Late
  9. Maybe Baby
10. Rock Me My Baby
11. Rave On
12. Well ... All Right
13. Think It Over
14. Lonesome Tears
15. It's So Easy
16. Early in the Morning
17. It Doesn't Matter Anymore
18. Raining in My Heart
19. Peggy Sue Got Married
20. Crying, Waiting, Hoping

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