That’ll Be The Day – Buddy Holly & The Crickets

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………….on February 25th of 1957 Buddy Holly And The Crickets begin recording “That’ll Be The Day” with producer Norman Petty at his studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Holly had recorded the song with his band The Three Tunes in Nashville in 1956, but Decca Records brass didn’t like the result and refused to release it. Holly’s new version would become his signature tune, rising to #1 in both the US and the UK. Holly had been kicking around his home town in Lubbock, Texas trying to write a hit song for his small rockabilly band since he had attended an Elvis Presley gig at his High School some time in 1955. His band in those days consisted of him on lead vocals and guitar, Jerry Allison on the drums and Joe B. Maudlin on upright bass. He and Jerry decided to get together and go see The Searchers a Western movie staring John Wayne. In the movie, Wayne keeps replying “That’ll be the day” every time another character in the film predicts or proclaims something will happen when he felt it was not likely to happen. The phrase stuck in Jerry’s mind, and when they were hanging out at Jerry’s house one night, Buddy looked at Jerry and said that it sure would be nice if they could record a hit song. Jerry replied with, “That’ll be the day,” mocking John Wayne in the western. Norman Petty took a writing credit on this because he produced it, which was common back then. This meant Holly and Allison had to share royalties with him.  Linda Ronstadt released her version as the lead single from her 1976 album Hasten Down the Wind. This came at the suggestion of her producer, Peter Asher, who recorded the song completely live, just as Holly’s version was done in the days before multitracking. The song went to #11 in the US and marked a shift for Ronstadt away from country rock.  


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