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WEB EXTRA: 50 Years on, Buddy Holly Will Not Fade Away

Tuesday is Golden Anniversary of 'Day the Music Died'

Posted: January 31, 2009 5:53 p.m.
Updated: February 1, 2009 2:27 a.m.

"Down the Line - Rarities" is a two-CD collection of Buddy Holly's most collectible pre-fame home recordings, alternate takes, undubbed versions and informal solo tapes. The rock 'n' roll pioneer died in a plane crash Feb. 3, 1959.

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Loyal Fans, Family, Friends and Record Label Celebrate a Rock 'n' Roll Legend

'Buddy will never be forgotten. His music lives on every day.'
-- Maria Elena Holly, Buddy Holly's widow 

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 30, 2009 /PRNewswire/ -- Feb. 3 marks the 50th anniversary of "The Day The Music Died," when a plane crash took the lives of three now-legendary rock 'n' rollers -- Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.

Holly's professional career was brief yet astonishing. A singer, songwriter, guitarist, arranger, producer and bandleader, Holly changed the sound of popular music in the late 1950s. The result was some of the most innovative and influential rock 'n' roll ever recorded.

To commemorate his contribution to music history and to mark the occasion of his death 50 years ago, the vault of rare Buddy Holly tracks was opened for two multi-disc sets.

The three-CD, 60-selection "Buddy Holly Memorial Collection" (Geffen/Decca/UMe), out Feb. 10, presents thorough, digitally remastered and undubbed recordings with fellow classmate and original duo partner Bob Montgomery and Holly's backing band and collaborators, The Crickets.

The two-CD, 59-selection "Down the Line - Rarities" (Geffen/UMe), out Jan. 27, is filled with pre-fame home recordings, alternate takes, undubbed versions and informal solo tapes.

Included are a recording by Buddy at age 14; three more previously unreleased, undubbed recordings with Montgomery; the legendary undubbed "Apartment Tapes" and the undubbed "Garage Tapes," from sessions recorded with The Crickets in Holly's family garage. and revered by Holly collectors.

"The release of these sets will be a magical moment for the fans who have been waiting for a long time to hear the beginnings of Buddy's career to the end with the apartment tapes, his last recordings! Holly-lujah!" Maria Elena Holly said.

Original Cricket Jerry J.I. Allison fondly recalls laying down some of those famous recordings. "Many of the tunes were done just in Buddy's garage, but I remember doing a few of them like 'Bo Diddley' and 'Brown-Eyed Handsome Man' way out West at (producer Norman) Petty's studio in Clovis, N.M. The lineup was Buddy, myself on drums, Sonny Curtis on guitar and Don Guess on bass."

Feb. 3, 1959, will forever be labeled "The Day the Music Died," but Buddy Holly was, is, and always will be a rock 'n' roll icon whose legacy lives on.

-- Signal Online Editor Stephen K. Peeples contributed to this story.

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