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Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly

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Drawing on interviews with almost everyone who ever associated with Holly, including his widow, a biography creates a vivid picture of a young man who took the American music scene by storm and then died suddenly in a tragic plane crash. 25,000 first printing.


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Drawing on interviews with almost everyone who ever associated with Holly, including his widow, a biography creates a vivid picture of a young man who took the American music scene by storm and then died suddenly in a tragic plane crash. 25,000 first printing.

30 review for Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly

  1. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Besides being a fan of Holly's music - though his career was a regrettably brief two years, there are more than a dozen of his rockabilly-style (that pleasing blend of R&B and country-western) songs I will enjoy until I draw my last breath - I think I also dove into Rave On for similar reasons that I read books about John and Bobby Kennedy: simply but sincerely wanting to believe that, had their lives not been abruptly cut short, they would have really amazed us with their further work. Norman do Besides being a fan of Holly's music - though his career was a regrettably brief two years, there are more than a dozen of his rockabilly-style (that pleasing blend of R&B and country-western) songs I will enjoy until I draw my last breath - I think I also dove into Rave On for similar reasons that I read books about John and Bobby Kennedy: simply but sincerely wanting to believe that, had their lives not been abruptly cut short, they would have really amazed us with their further work. Norman does an admirable job with his well-researched bio on the Lone Star state's original rock star - who could have predicted a slim, bespectacled, unruly-haired working-class young adult would actually became the early, rare 'triple-threat' of singer / songwriter / instrumentalist in the American pop / rock music scene? What is also refreshing is that, by the accounts documented here, Holly was a genuinely decent guy as well - barring one brief fling with a married woman, he's otherwise presented as a good son, brother, friend, musician, and (even at his young age) show-biz mentor. His life story is not boring, but thankfully the standard sleaze and scandal - Stones and Zeppelin, I dig you guys, but this note's for you - is absent and not missed at all, at least by me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    I admit I have a big bias when it comes to anything that concerns Buddy Holly being the fan I am. Having seen the stage play and movie, I thought I knew a lot about Buddy Holly, but this book completely destroyed those and threw me into the real world of Buddy. You get to see the good,bad,happy, and sad life that was Buddy's short visit to us. This author did a excellent job of researching everybodies point of view who got to know Buddy. I am going to make it a point of mine to get my own copy o I admit I have a big bias when it comes to anything that concerns Buddy Holly being the fan I am. Having seen the stage play and movie, I thought I knew a lot about Buddy Holly, but this book completely destroyed those and threw me into the real world of Buddy. You get to see the good,bad,happy, and sad life that was Buddy's short visit to us. This author did a excellent job of researching everybodies point of view who got to know Buddy. I am going to make it a point of mine to get my own copy of this book for my own personal library. If I had to say anything bad about this book, I'd have to say I wish it had more photos, but even that is a stretch because I know so few exist out there. I love this book!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tosh

    Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly - just tragic and all three of them were brilliant. I also love the thought of him in New York going to all the jazz clubs before he passed away. If he lived he would have made MORE great music. The guy just had that 'genius' element in his DNA. A very well researched biography on the man. And again, it's heartbraking. Like the Gene Vincent bio, I just wanted to cry in the end. Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, and Buddy Holly - just tragic and all three of them were brilliant. I also love the thought of him in New York going to all the jazz clubs before he passed away. If he lived he would have made MORE great music. The guy just had that 'genius' element in his DNA. A very well researched biography on the man. And again, it's heartbraking. Like the Gene Vincent bio, I just wanted to cry in the end.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    ❤️❤️❤️ My dudes, I am near tears. This is easily the best biography I have ever read. Since discovering Buddy Holly’s music at the age of 16 thanks to my 11th grade Music History class in early 2015, I have said time and time again how grossly underrated Buddy’s music — and Buddy himself — truly is. I am 20 years old, turn 21 this September (just a few days before Buddy’s birthday), and among my generation, names like The Beatles and Elvis Presley are still highly recognized and iconic (which is ❤️❤️❤️ My dudes, I am near tears. This is easily the best biography I have ever read. Since discovering Buddy Holly’s music at the age of 16 thanks to my 11th grade Music History class in early 2015, I have said time and time again how grossly underrated Buddy’s music — and Buddy himself — truly is. I am 20 years old, turn 21 this September (just a few days before Buddy’s birthday), and among my generation, names like The Beatles and Elvis Presley are still highly recognized and iconic (which is ironic, considering The Beatles literally named themselves after Buddy Holly & the Crickets)... and yet the name ‘Buddy Holly’ is almost unrecognizable. Why? Rereading this book, which was originally a graduation gift when I graduated high school in 2016, has only refueled my love for Buddy and my belief that he is one of the greatest singers/songwriters in history. Had he not been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, he EASILY would have rivaled the likes of Elvis Presley and The Beatles, and it is my belief that Buddy himself might have been more widely recognized, instead, as “the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Unlike Elvis, who could sing but do little else, Buddy could play his own instruments and write his own songs, and was *lightyears* ahead of his time in regards to music experimentation. He seemed unafraid to try new things, and that went BEYOND music — according to multiple sources, he wanted to launch his own record company, expressed interest in acting AND writing music scores, and took dance lessons to further improve his ability on stage. Now, I fully recognize the fact that Buddy Holly was a product of his time — a white male born in the Deep South in 1936. It would not surprise me in the slightest if some of his beliefs reflected that era and upbringing. However, from what I could tell, he seemed *very* progressive considering his background. He seemed — I use ‘seemed’ because, once again, I am only going off of what modern research provides me — mindful of women, didn’t care about race (often seeking to tour with and work with black artists during a time in which America — and especially the Deep South — was still extremely segregated), and seemed polite and *generous* to everyone around him. Also, while there is no way this can be confirmed, it is rumored that he was aware of Little Richard’s sexuality (homosexual or pansexual, depending on the source), and was completely okay with it. Like. When did acceptance like that EVER happen in that era? Again, I am aware that Buddy was, despite what the written word may say, imperfect, but he was young and, therefore, among the age-group that is — and was — the most accepting of societal change. However, in the end, it seems like some of that politeness and generosity is what essentially fucked him over. After reading “Rave On,” it seems to me that the SOLE reason Buddy even had to go on the tour that inevitably led to his death was because his manager, Norman Petty, was — to put it frankly — manipulative as fuck and, overall, just a downright scumbag. If the author’s sources can be trusted (he literally sat down with everyone who knew Buddy personally, so I’m assuming they can be), Buddy had to leave a young and pregnant wife to go on a cold, dangerous tour because Petty — quite living up to his name — held back ALL off the money Buddy earned in his career after he was fired as Buddy’s manager. Had Norman Petty been a decent fucking human being, there is a strong possibility that Buddy would have NEVER gone on the Winter Dance Party Tour, and very well may have lived beyond what he did. Hell, he was born in 1936 — he could, potentially, be alive today and turning 83 three days after I turn 21. Might I just say — fuck you, Norman Petty! This book is absolutely enchanting and transports you to a whole new world, like time travel. Buddy Holly, despite being in his prime in the late ‘50s, is a figure that can definitely be seen as fresh and relatable today, and I wish more people among my generation were aware of his artistry. His songs are light and fun and, I think, are as completely enjoyable today as they were sixty years ago. Unlike some other ‘50s stars — *cough* Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis *cough* — he never had any big controversies despite his youth, and... man, I just wished more people would recognize Buddy as the truly talented, groundbreaking performer he was. Buddy Holly, both his career and his person, deserved SO much better, and this is a hill I am willing to die on.

  5. 4 out of 5

    J-beat

    As I read Philip Norman's account of Buddy Holly's life, I thought I'd be depressed through the whole thing...but surprisingly, I wasn't. Norman's biography really shined a light on who Holly was as a private person rather than just the rock icon with horn rimmed glasses. Although he was by no means perfect, he was kind, generous, optimistic, and a musical genius whose work endures even today. Now when I listen to his music, I have so much more appreciation for the beautiful person behind it. As I read Philip Norman's account of Buddy Holly's life, I thought I'd be depressed through the whole thing...but surprisingly, I wasn't. Norman's biography really shined a light on who Holly was as a private person rather than just the rock icon with horn rimmed glasses. Although he was by no means perfect, he was kind, generous, optimistic, and a musical genius whose work endures even today. Now when I listen to his music, I have so much more appreciation for the beautiful person behind it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elspeth

    This biography has plenty of great information about Buddy Holly's life, but to get that information you'll have to deal with the author. And by that I mean you have to slog through overblown claims, sloppy (and unnecessary) argumentation, and a sadly common perspective that treats the work of black musicians as source material, or raw material, that is later perfected by white musicians. For instance, Norman claims that Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly are "the two seminal figures of fifties rock ' This biography has plenty of great information about Buddy Holly's life, but to get that information you'll have to deal with the author. And by that I mean you have to slog through overblown claims, sloppy (and unnecessary) argumentation, and a sadly common perspective that treats the work of black musicians as source material, or raw material, that is later perfected by white musicians. For instance, Norman claims that Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly are "the two seminal figures of fifties rock 'n' roll, the place where modern rock culture began." He continues: "Virtually everything we hear on recordings and see on video or the concert stage can be traced back to those twin towering icons." Sure, Presley and Holly were pivotal figures, but how about Chuck Berry, for one? Norman seems so intent on arguing for Holly's importance that he makes a series of ridiculous statements that minimize or erase the work of black musicians like Berry. While trying to argue that Holly influenced most top artists in 1963, he makes the absurd claim that a group called the Rockin' Berries "could have had nothing but holly on their minds" when they chose their name. It's a stretch that seems almost implausibly obtuse; "Berries," after all, is the plural of "Berry." It's hard to trust an author who makes so many upsetting statements so confidently. His peppy, simplistic characterization of the fifties is so blinded by nostalgia that it seems like it must be a joke (it isn't): "That spring was a customarily brilliant and busy one in an America where every day still represented another measurable step toward perfection. The U.S. Supreme Court had just ordered the Southern states to end racial segregation, although neglecting to specify a date when this should come to pass.... Ike was in the White House, Ricky loved Lucy, a dollar was a dollar, and Pepsodent toothpaste made you wonder where the yellow went. To be sure, in the whole VistaVision expanse of progress, stability, enlightenment, and shiny chromium plating, the only unsightly blot was this thing called rock 'n' roll." He didn't need to prove that rock was the "only unsightly blot" in America, but for some reason he wants to overreach, and in doing so he flippantly ignores the real oppression and pain that led to the civil rights movement. And it isn't that he doesn't talk about race; he does. He tries to discuss race, and sometimes he does alright with it, but more often he treats it uneasily or clumsily, and his efforts to prove how exceptional Buddy Holly was often minimize the work of black musicians. There are other baffling choices: frequently calling Norman Petty "Clovis Man," a reference to an indigenous culture and a joke that isn't funny the first time and certainly isn't when stretched over 200 pages; a skin-crawling excuse for a (possibly true, possibly false) account of Holly hitting a girlfriend after finding out she was pregnant ("hundreds of young men down the centuries have found themselves in the same predicament and behaved no better and no worse," Norman writes); an account of "Rave On" that describes the "backup vocals with the threatening 'walla-walla' chant of comic book redskins"; and a whole lot of sighing and trembling over Buddy Holly. Norman goes over the top with it, and it's frustrating to read passages in which he rhapsodizes about how Buddy Holly gave nerdy white boys the hope they so desperately needed, saved them from being "excluded" from rock. He adds: "Until then, rock 'n' roll had been aimed principally at girls. It was something that made girls scream while their boyfriends stood by, fuming with impotent jealousy. Buddy Holly may not have been the first rock 'n' roller British boys liked, but he was the first they could admit they liked." Well, it's a little tiresome, and it plays into a lot of the tired storylines of rock criticism (elevating white musicians, for instance, and insinuating that women were there for the potential boyfriends, not because they had musical interest or taste). If only Norman didn't get in the way of his subject, because once he gets down to details of Holly's music, this book is pretty alright. You can put on the complete studio recordings as you read and get a decent walkthrough of the songs and their context. And in terms of Holly's own biography, it feels pretty comprehensive. I got what I was looking for, but unfortunately I got a whole lot of other things, too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    I just finished to read this book and I'm crying. I love it. But obviously it's so sad. I just finished to read this book and I'm crying. I love it. But obviously it's so sad.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Martin Jones

    This was a comprehensive and well-written account of a central figure in the history of modern popular music. The book was particularly good when it came to describing Buddy Holly’s ambivalent relationship with the music scene of his time. Rock music was only a short step away from devil worship for many people in the 1950s. We see Buddy, the dutiful son of a religiously conservative Texan family, walking a tight rope between the expectations of his particular culture, and his desire to explore This was a comprehensive and well-written account of a central figure in the history of modern popular music. The book was particularly good when it came to describing Buddy Holly’s ambivalent relationship with the music scene of his time. Rock music was only a short step away from devil worship for many people in the 1950s. We see Buddy, the dutiful son of a religiously conservative Texan family, walking a tight rope between the expectations of his particular culture, and his desire to explore new music created by black musicians. Thinking of a name for his band, Buddy used as a starting point the name of his favourite black R&B group, the Spiders. Searching through reference books on entomology, he eventually found his way towards a much less threatening kind of insect, the cricket. Crickets are harmless little creatures who under the cover of darkness, fill the night with their chirpy music. The story of Buddy Holly is something similar, the story of a young man using a kind of camouflage to make forbidden music. The aspect of the book I was not so keen on was the repeated referral to portents of doom; a constitutional impatience, for example, which was supposed to indicate that Buddy Holly knew he didn’t have much time. Do I assume that someone tailgating me on the A20 is only behaving that way due to a mysterious sense that an early demise lies ahead? If impatience does point to early demise, then it does so in the sense that it increases the likelihood of risky behaviour. Impatience would encourage driving at high speed – the Buddy Holly driving style. Impatience would also help persuade someone to avoid a long, uncomfortable bus journey by taking a trip in a light aircraft on a freezing cold night when it’s snowing. But beyond that… In effect, this portent of doom thing is a way to give the narrative some tension, like foreshadowing in a novel. In a biography you have to reverse engineer facts to get this effect. I suppose that’s why this whole aspect of the book came over as forced. People do not live their lives going backwards. They live them going forwards. Buddy Holly certainly lived his life going forwards. He was energetic, ambitious, valued the world of his upbringing while wanting to leave behind its limitations. This was not a young man dwelling on an early death. He was too busy living for that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alec Downie

    As the author admits in the intro there is not much left to discover about Buddy after 70 odd years, though he makes a valiant attempt at doing so in a well researched, easy to read book. It is obvious that you need to be a fan to write or read any music bio but there is then that line most cross that makes it at time cringe worthy, although Norman does his best to show some of the uglier sides of Holly to balance that, his willingness to brush of violence against women, as a function of its time As the author admits in the intro there is not much left to discover about Buddy after 70 odd years, though he makes a valiant attempt at doing so in a well researched, easy to read book. It is obvious that you need to be a fan to write or read any music bio but there is then that line most cross that makes it at time cringe worthy, although Norman does his best to show some of the uglier sides of Holly to balance that, his willingness to brush of violence against women, as a function of its time, is clumsy, and made finishing the book and liking the author harder.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Wilson

    Touching account of the life and tragic death of the original Rock and Roll Star.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    After my mom died I got really into Buddy Holly. Or, rather, Buddy Holly just sort of showed up in my life all of a sudden. I don't know. I can't realy explain it without sounding like a complete nut, so I'll skip the details. Lets just say I freaked out and began to listen to the bespectacled rocker's music religiously, eagerly seeking out B-sides and rarities; anything, basically that he had touched. That hiccuppy croon of his was like a cool cool balm to my weary soul. Those three-chord tremo After my mom died I got really into Buddy Holly. Or, rather, Buddy Holly just sort of showed up in my life all of a sudden. I don't know. I can't realy explain it without sounding like a complete nut, so I'll skip the details. Lets just say I freaked out and began to listen to the bespectacled rocker's music religiously, eagerly seeking out B-sides and rarities; anything, basically that he had touched. That hiccuppy croon of his was like a cool cool balm to my weary soul. Those three-chord tremolo rockabilly love ballads just fucking KILLED me, every single time. Without fail. Holly's sudden apparition during this period of grief made sense to me at the time. My mom grew up in the American Southwest during the 50s and 60s---and that's the sort of mental landscape that Holly's music evokes: a time of innocence and idealism and sock hop balls. I listened to Holly's music all throughout that miserable year and it just took me there, you know? It took me to a bygone era where my grandpa and my mom were still alive and happy and wearing horn-rimmed glasses in Arizona, 1961. So I was super excited to read this book because I was such a fan of Holly's and... the book was kind of a let down. It turns out that Buddy Holly was not quite the saint I thought he was. "Rave On" does a good job of deflating the Buddy Holly Myth. As the book reveals, Holly was (gasp!) a mere man(well, a mere kid, really. He died at age 22). Yes, in life Charles Hardin Holley was like the rest of us mortals: confused, socially awkward, prone to greed, pride, sexual indiscretion and an often disturbing hunger for fame and recognition. I don't know if I liked "Rave On." I don't know how I feel about having Saint Buddy Holly taken away from me. I'm glad to meet the real man, of course. But I think we need the myth, too. I know I do. I need both parts: I need the real Holly--- a gangly, near-sighted naive Texan kid with fucked-up teeth because I want to say, "Hey, he's like me. A human. I can relate." But I know I also really REALLY need the tragic hero who died when his plane plowed into a frozen field, leaving a young pregnant wife in his wake. I need the immortal genius. I need the legend, too, because I want to say "Hey, he's not like me. He's so much better. What a tragic hero!" I don't know. I just know that I'm choosing to forget all of the bad parts of Buddy Holly that I learned from this book. I will very ignorantly continue to believe in his myth because more and more in my adult life I find that I need to put on a dusty LP and travel back in time to the sweet sun-kissed innocence of Arizona, 1961. I need to be assured by Saint Buddy Holly that everything will be okay.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Addison A

    Not a fan.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    I've been a Buddy Holly fan for years and I couldn't consider myself someone who knew about his brief life and music career so I decided it was time to read a biography. I chose this one because of the higher rating and because of the author writing many other biographies of famous musicians. I did learn things about Holly that I hadn't known, how his material came to be, his rock 'n roll friendships, his management endeavors, and the financial struggle he faced towards the end of his life. Even I've been a Buddy Holly fan for years and I couldn't consider myself someone who knew about his brief life and music career so I decided it was time to read a biography. I chose this one because of the higher rating and because of the author writing many other biographies of famous musicians. I did learn things about Holly that I hadn't known, how his material came to be, his rock 'n roll friendships, his management endeavors, and the financial struggle he faced towards the end of his life. Even his possible child that may be alive today, though the violent outburst he supposedly committed on the mother seems shockingly out of character, but at the same time not unbelievable. I had trouble with the Norman's metaphors and writing style, particularly in the beginning with, for example, comparing the quarrels of young Elvis fans with elders to the United States Civil War, and comparing Norman Petty to the ancient fossilized Clovis Man. Saying Peggy Sue influenced the rap generation, and my personal favorite, "...a Buddy solo gleaming out of it like a diamond in oatmeal." Norman also kept on comparing Lennon and McCartney to Holly which just seemed unfair, and under different circumstances. This book made me think that the possibility of Holly continuing his career into the 60s quite uncertain, the change of the music scene more than likely would have swept him under the rug especially since he wasn't having any hits towards the end of his life. Holly had big dreams that I also didn't know about, but at the same time I think were only dreams. Maybe his death was meant to be, to leave him as a legacy, and a martyr for 50s rock 'n roll. Yet thinking this just makes his death easier for me, as a fan, to deal with.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Richard Barnes

    Great read that captures just why Buddy Holly is so important in the history of rock and pop, and illuminates the tragedy of his early death. Norman understands the history and sets Buddy's life against a background of the sudden explosion of rock'n'roll and Elvis with its equally rapid (partial) decline. In addition, this book reveals the personal stories, in particular the complex and occassionaly sinister role of Norman Petty (Buddy's most prominent Producer and sort of Manager). Anyone who's r Great read that captures just why Buddy Holly is so important in the history of rock and pop, and illuminates the tragedy of his early death. Norman understands the history and sets Buddy's life against a background of the sudden explosion of rock'n'roll and Elvis with its equally rapid (partial) decline. In addition, this book reveals the personal stories, in particular the complex and occassionaly sinister role of Norman Petty (Buddy's most prominent Producer and sort of Manager). Anyone who's read any stories about the music industry back in the 50's and 60's will see the same old theme of a young and passionate artist getting ripped off by the Manager. Norman excels at his research with wide ranging sources from nearly everyone who was close to Buddy and the other characters, as well as exhaustive examination of every shred of documentation. There's a depth of accuracy which doesn't get overloaded and get in the way of the story. If you love the Beatles and Stones, then delve into Buddy Holly and find out where they came from.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Menno Pot

    I've read a number of major rock biographies by Philip Norman. This is my favourite. It's the biography Buddy Holly deserves, the one he would have hoped for. It ties everything together: rock 'n roll history, Buddy as an artist, Buddy as a human being, his family, a beautiful and vivid image of 1950s Texas, the 'Day the Music Died' and, last but not least, it paints a sharp and merciless picture of Norman Petty, Holly's producer/manager, who ripped Buddy off and kept sitting on his royalties, w I've read a number of major rock biographies by Philip Norman. This is my favourite. It's the biography Buddy Holly deserves, the one he would have hoped for. It ties everything together: rock 'n roll history, Buddy as an artist, Buddy as a human being, his family, a beautiful and vivid image of 1950s Texas, the 'Day the Music Died' and, last but not least, it paints a sharp and merciless picture of Norman Petty, Holly's producer/manager, who ripped Buddy off and kept sitting on his royalties, which forced Buddy to go out on the tour that cost him his life. Philip Norman was a huge Buddy fan when he was a kid, which is why we get the story of Buddy in Britain as well (he was more successful there than he was in the U.S.), which is invaluable and a major part of the story. Philip Norman's love for Buddy is tangible - and I loved it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    LibraryCin

    Buddy Holly (born, Charles Hardin Holley), one of the founders of rock’n’roll, died tragically in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, at only 22 years old. He had a new wife of only 5 months, and they were expecting their first child. Buddy was a charming, genuinely nice, down-to-earth guy, but he wasn’t perfect. He had had an affair with a married woman, and towards the end of his life, he was in a battle with his first manager over money that was never passed on. The book goes into great detail Buddy Holly (born, Charles Hardin Holley), one of the founders of rock’n’roll, died tragically in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, at only 22 years old. He had a new wife of only 5 months, and they were expecting their first child. Buddy was a charming, genuinely nice, down-to-earth guy, but he wasn’t perfect. He had had an affair with a married woman, and towards the end of his life, he was in a battle with his first manager over money that was never passed on. The book goes into great detail as the author was able to interview people who knew him, as well as get his hands on some primary source materials. I found it very interesting, as I did learn plenty of things I never knew about Buddy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amber Rush

    This book tells the overview of the legend that was Buddy Holly. From how he oppressed religion with the 'devils music' through rock and roll. Explaining his battle with Norman Petty and the scams of music management. He inspired so many modern and classic Artists including Eddie Cochran, John Lennon and Bob Dylan. The so-called 'holly fate' showing how those that he heavily influenced all had premonitions about their death before the unfortunate happens. Showing the fatal winter dance party and This book tells the overview of the legend that was Buddy Holly. From how he oppressed religion with the 'devils music' through rock and roll. Explaining his battle with Norman Petty and the scams of music management. He inspired so many modern and classic Artists including Eddie Cochran, John Lennon and Bob Dylan. The so-called 'holly fate' showing how those that he heavily influenced all had premonitions about their death before the unfortunate happens. Showing the fatal winter dance party and the awful flying conditions of Peterson in the charter plane. As Eddie Cochran once said ' Buddy Holly I'll always remember you with tears in my eyes.' How three music artists lost their lives and the impact on modern music of this day.

  18. 5 out of 5

    AL

    A labor of love, but still, there seems to be many holes in the story he tells. Also, the author inserts himself into the narrative far too much for my tastes. His Beatles book is far better. I was happy to learn any information about Buddy as I only knew what that dumb Gary Busey movie told me as well as other dramatized versions of Buddy's life I have seen over the years. If you're in need of Buddy Holly introductory information, this is a decent book to read. Although, after reading this acco A labor of love, but still, there seems to be many holes in the story he tells. Also, the author inserts himself into the narrative far too much for my tastes. His Beatles book is far better. I was happy to learn any information about Buddy as I only knew what that dumb Gary Busey movie told me as well as other dramatized versions of Buddy's life I have seen over the years. If you're in need of Buddy Holly introductory information, this is a decent book to read. Although, after reading this account purely based on my familiarity with "Shout", I just wonder if there are better ones out there. Seems like a good bet.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe Eidson

    You wouldn't think a life so short would have such a long biography, but this book is very well-researched and goes into some fine detail on Buddy Holly. My only complaint is that the prose sometimes lapses into some overly-saccharine description of Holly's genius - sometimes a chord is just a chord, y'know? You wouldn't think a life so short would have such a long biography, but this book is very well-researched and goes into some fine detail on Buddy Holly. My only complaint is that the prose sometimes lapses into some overly-saccharine description of Holly's genius - sometimes a chord is just a chord, y'know?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael Todd

    Of course, I enjoyed hearing details I never knew about Buddy Holly's life. However, I was especially intrigued to hear about 1950s pop culture, press, radio, music charts, the music industry and the audience. This book is like a time capsule of American and British life in that era. We're fortunate so many who had first hand knowledge were still alive to speak to the author. Of course, I enjoyed hearing details I never knew about Buddy Holly's life. However, I was especially intrigued to hear about 1950s pop culture, press, radio, music charts, the music industry and the audience. This book is like a time capsule of American and British life in that era. We're fortunate so many who had first hand knowledge were still alive to speak to the author.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zac

    Basically, everything in the Gary Busey joint, The Buddy Holly Story, was more or less made up. Which is weird, because the stuff in here would actually be better as a movie than what they conjured up for the script anyway.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leilani

    Favorite biography ever. Swear.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mick

    my buddy holly obsession never really goes away. a 2nd-time read, and fascinating account of one of the giants of rock-n-roll.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stew

    The definitive biography of Buddy Holly. Engaging writing for an engaging artist.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Peter Burton

    Very interesting book especially on the role of Norman Petty and the details of the plane crash.A great rock star whose work has stood the test of time.A sad and moving account from a true fan.

  26. 4 out of 5

    SouthWestZippy

    What a interesting life. A life taken way to soon. Good book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    Philip Norman has done a very good job of rooting out information that has become mythologized with the passing of time. I recommend this book to any serious music buff.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pocketem

    The book was so great talking about the biography of Buddy Holly but it was quite sad when the plane crash happened I was crying really hard when that happened in the book.But great book! :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris Patterson

    Loved!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ken French

    A great life story, but spoiled by mediocre writing.

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