He grew up the youngest of four children in a family of devout Baptists in West Lubbock, Texas, and gospel music was present in his life from an early age. Great student and person, Charles He was declared “King of the Sixth Grade” by his classmates. From the age of 12 he showed a serious interest in music, showing a natural facility.
The following year he signed a contract with the Decca Records division in Nashville, Tennessee, but the records he made with this production company did not have good sales, and additionally their quality was uneven.
In 1957, Holly together with his new group, “Crickets“, with Niki Sullivan on second guitar and backing vocals, Joe B. Mauldin on bass, and Jerry Allison on drums, teamed up with independent producer Norman Petty at his studio in Clovis, New Mexico, and that’s when the real magic began.
The group created a series of recordings that demonstrate an emotional intimacy and a sense of detail that markedly differentiates them from the rock and roll of the 1950s.
With a large recording team, Crickets records included unusual microphone placement techniques, imaginative echo chamber effects, and overdubbing, a process that back then meant layering one recording over another, and under these effects themes such as “Not Fade Away“,”Peggy sue“,”Listen me me” Y “Cada dia“.
After countless hours in the recording studio, they became pioneers of the Rock & Roll recording processes, creators of totally new techniques for the time.
In 1957 they released the single “That’ll be the day“, under the Brunswick label, which did nothing to promote it, and yet, thanks to the irrepressible spirit of the work, towards the end of that same year it became an international success.
Shortly after, Holly he would become a star and an icon. Holly and the Crickets’ partnership with Petty (who served as manager, songwriting partner, and editor and owner of their recordings) was not the most beneficial, as he is known to have cashed the Crickets royalty checks and kept the record. money.
The music of Holly and the Crickets, their innovative use of the recording studio and its effects, and the fact that they themselves were the authors of most of their songs, led them to become the most important influence on The Beatles, who knew deeply each of the works from Holly.
In 1986, Holly he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1996 he was honored by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.