WEIRDLAND: Buddy Holly's honeymoon & Philadelphia's American Bandstand

Monday, November 21, 2016

Buddy Holly's honeymoon & Philadelphia's American Bandstand

Buddy Holly and his band, The Crickets, created a template that groups from the Beatles to Nirvana would follow. And it was a Philadelphia radio personality who helped launch Holly's career. In their book Remembering Buddy: The Definitive Biography of Buddy Holly, co-authors John Goldrosen and John Beecher credit longtime WDAS disc jockey Georgie Woods with helping "That'll Be the Day" become a hit in the summer of 1957.

Bob Thiele, who was in charge of scouting and artist development for Coral Records, which included Brunswick, confirmed Deutch's account for Goldrosen. "For weeks and weeks, nothing happened. There were no orders," Murray Deutch, of Peer-Southern, which handled Holly's music publishing, told Goldrosen. "All of a sudden, the record started to sell. The sales department called, and they had one order from Philly alone for 20,000 copies."

That led to the Crickets appearing on Philadelphia-based American Bandstand on Aug. 26, 1957, miming to "That'll Be the Day" in one of their first appearances on national television. While the broadcast helped the song top Billboard's singles chart, Crickets drummer Jerry Allison had mixed emotions about the presentation: "We had to act like a vocal group," he recalled, even though he and bassist Joe Mauldin never sang on Holly's recordings.

Holly and the Crickets came to Philadelphia on October 28 to promote their new recordings for Dick Clark on American Bandstand. Allison recalled a tense moment in the dressing room before the show. Someone from Clark's staff asked Holly to return the check he received as a favor for Bandstand's playing his songs. "Buddy stood up for himself and refused," Allison says. "He told him, If Dick doesn't like our songs, tell him not to play them." In early November 1958, Holly, Allison, and Mauldin went their separate ways over differences with manager/producer Norman Petty. 

For his final tour in early 1959, Holly formed a new band that included future country star Waylon Jennings on bass. Jerry Allison was just 19 when he and Holly split, leaving him to wonder what would have happened if they had stayed together. "That might have been the worst mistake I ever made," he says now. Source:

Jerry Allison was, according to Peggy Sue, often angry or depressed. It seems that she never loved him (“Standing at the wedding ceremony. The biggest mistake of my life.”) What do we learn about Buddy Holly? Always kind and understanding, like his parents, but he could erupt when pushed. When his car got blocked by some hoods, he reached for his gun and said, “I’m giving you five seconds to move that fucking car and then I’m going to start shootin’.” We learn that he helped “the Lubbock girl with the bad reputation” when she got pregnant: “Really, I loved her”, Holly reportedly said of her. Except when she went shopping, Maria Elena seems to have been in a permanently bad mood, and simply “shaking her head in disapproval”. Right from the start of the joint honeymoon, she told Holly and Allison to stop playing around, and spent the evening eating alone in her room.

Maria and Jerry seem to have spent some of the honeymoon as drinking buddies, but she soon turned against him and said to Peggy Sue: “If he thinks he can‘t be replaced, he should think twice”. One of the most bizarre passages is when Maria accuses Norman Petty of looking up her skirt. Do you want me to ask Norman for money to buy my panties, Buddy?”, Maria urged. At first, Buddy kind of laughed it off and Jerry was chuckling as if Maria had told a joke. But she kept it up and Buddy finally said sternly: That's enough, Maria Elena! After the funeral, Maria told Peggy Sue, “I’m going to get the man who killed Buddy”. However, Peggy Sue says that Norman had always paid and the assets were being held up by the promoter, Manny Greenfield. 

What has always set Buddy Holly's persona apart from others in the rock ’n’ roll pantheon is its air of maturity, sympathy and understanding. To successive generations of fans he has seemed less like an idol than a teacher, guide and friend. His songs have become synonyms for a drape-suited, pink-Cadillac belle époque which we have come to regard almost with the same misty-eyed nostalgia as the golden years of Hollywood.  "Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly" (2014) by Philip Norman


StyleByDeb said...

Hi dear, I'm sorry I'm commenting something related to your Bogart Collection box in this post, I just wanted to make sure you read the comment so I picked the newest post on your blog. You'll see, I'm desperately looking for gifts for my boyfriend, a huge Bogie fan, and I came across "The Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection DVD box-set" (sold in Amazon and Walmart) which seems to be the one you won back in 2010. Basically my question is the following: I saw these DVDs' formats were for Region 1 only (aka only playing in US and Canada) but I think I read you were in Spain. Does that mean that these DVDs can also be played in Europe? My boyfriend lives in the UK.
I would appreciate any help from you. You can reach me at Thanks in advance, and once again my apologies for such a strange comment, really. xx

Elena W said...

Hi, Deb, thanks for visiting my blogsite, you're welcome! You can find Humphrey Bogart: The Essential Collection in Amazon UK:

yes, it's region 1 (USA) but I didn't have trouble because I opened the DVDs with VideoLan Player and it deactived the code region automatically. Anyway, you have another Bogart boxset region 2 (Europe/UK) here:

I hope I have helped you! Happy Thanksgiving xx