The Day the Music Died, dubbed so by Don McLean’s song “American Pie”, was a tragic aviation accident that occurred on February 3, 1959, near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing rock & roll musicians Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, J.P “The Big Bopper” Richardson.
Billboard, Rolling Stones, Radio & Records and journalists have kept the legacy of their music and talent going.
Let’s stop thinking of the trio as plane crash victims and remember them as talented musicians they were and the great music they gave the world.
When, after Buddy Holly’s tragic demise, Jerry Naylor was addressed with the words “We want YOU to be the new lead singer of The Crickets”, the young man was totally speechless. Once he had put his initial fear aside and bravely stepped into the shoes of the late rock ‘n’ roll icon, there was no way back. The rest, as they say, is history.
Over the years, fans of the original Crickets bestowed Naylor with the same loyalty as they had done with Holly, and they came to love and respect his sincerity and passion for the music.
Naylor hailed from a small town in Texas where his foster dad ran a local radio station. He witnessed the launch of many a career, from Elvis to Roy Orbison and of course… Buddy Holly! Little did Jerry know back then that one day, he would be amongst their ranks…
Jerry recorded as lead singer with the Crickets for five years at Liberty Records, globally known as “The Crickets; The Liberty Years” for the multiple global hits the group had during this time.
It all started with “Don’t Ever Change,” a Carol King / Gerry Goffin written song, which shot to the number 5 position on the UK national charts and many other countries of the world.
The Crickets are credited with influencing the careers of many of the legendary British rock acts, including Elton John and the Beatles, who publicly stated that they named themselves after The Crickets because of their admiration for the group.
In their own admission, “Don’t Ever Change” by Jerry Naylor and the Post Buddy Holly Crickets highly influenced the Beatles career, and the first song the Beatles group performance live on BBC-Radio in 1963, was The Crickets’ hit, “Don’t Ever Change.”
The Post Buddy Holly Crickets had five additional international top charted singles and the “Bobby Vee Meets the Crickets Album” was a huge success globally; ranking with all Buddy Holly Crickets albums as tied at number 2 for all Crickets global sales. The Crickets with Jerry Naylor also had a number One EP Chart recording hit on EMI / Liberty Records in 1963, with “My Little Girl” and “Teardrops Fall Like Rain,” which The Crickets performed in the Columbia Motion Pictures Movie, “Just For Fun.”
Best Selling Author, and
Former Billboard Magazine Editor for Radio and Records