Buddy Holly Breakdown!
I recently took a long four hour road trip, that left me very bored. Luckily earlier that day I went to target and bought a new selection of music. Among the 5 CD‘s I purchased that day was one of Buddy Holly that I got for my wife. I have heard some Buddy Holly here and there, but I never had a chance to really listen to him. That all changed when I was able to listen to him for the first 1 1/2 hours of the drive. So now I am going to give you a breakdown of my thoughts of Buddy Holly. I will approach this as an Ethnomusicologist and a music performer.
This is not a bio about Buddy Holly, but rather a look into the sound of his music and how he performed it. Now that we have that out of the way lets get started!
Buddy Holly was a pioneer in the genre of rock and roll, and had a true american sound(that is harder to explain, I’ll try some other time). When listening to his music it wasn’t just rock and roll that I heard. I also noticed elements of bluegrass, rockabilly, folk, and blues. And in the same line as the Carter family, a lot of his melodies were played on the bass string of his guitar. So those are my thoughts about the music of Buddy Holly now it’s on to the performer himself.
I hold a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance, so I will be using the experience I gained from those studies to analyze how Buddy Holly performs his songs. First I want to start with the best part, at least in my book that is, which is his diction. If you have never heard that word before basically it’s how clearly he can say his words, and his were very clear. He seemed to work very hard to keep his vowels uniform. As a classically trained performer this made me very happy. His intonation is spot on, meaning he never missed a pitch. In a time without autotune that is an important skill to have. In all the time I’ve listened to older singers I have heard many pitches missed, but that didn’t happen in the music of buddy holly. He kept up the energy throughout the songs, and never seemed to give a bad performance.
Buddy Holly was a big influence of many of the famous musicians we know today. Such as the Beatles, Don McLean, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones just to name a few. This just makes it clear that his ideas, music, and performances will continue to be an influence on those in the industry.
- Buddy Holly’s demo for “Words of Love” (boingboing.net)
- Rejected Beatles audition tape goes on sale (thesun.co.uk)
- Damn! Buddy Holly was legit but Bill Haley opened the door. Origins of Rock Part 2 (caveoffame.wordpress.com)
- Willy Moon Loves Buddy Holly and Space (mtvhive.com)
- Holly at the Brunton (scribblingscot.wordpress.com)
- 52nd Anniversary of “The Day the Music Died” (lawprofessors.typepad.com)