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Raining in My Heart (a Tribute to Buddy Holly)

Updated on June 14, 2021
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John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded the "Best Poet 2014 and 2021" Hubby Awards.


It has been raining here almost continuously for 24 hours and the weather bureau predicts even heavier rainfall tomorrow. For some reason, my mind wandered to the Buddy Holly song "Raining in My Heart". I found it on YouTube and had a listen, now I can't get it out of my head. I took it as a sign to write an acrostic poem using the letters of the words of the song title and ultimately to write an entire tribute hub to Buddy Holly.

The Buddy Holly Story

Charles Hardin Holley was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He was the fourth and youngest child in his family and was nicknamed "Buddy" by his mother, who felt that his given name, Charles, was too big for her little boy. "Holly," the altered form of his last name, would later result from a misspelling in his first recording contract.

Buddy's parents were very supportive of their son's musical talents and arranged for him to learn piano and fiddle at a young age. His older brothers taught him the basics of the guitar.

Even at an early age it was obvious he had higher ambitions. A preacher at the local church once asked him, "What would you do if you had $10?" Buddy reportedly answered, "If I had $10, I wouldn't be here."

Buddy's parents were very supportive of their son's musical talents, giving him song ideas and encouragement.

The Crickets: Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, Joe B. Mauldin
The Crickets: Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, Joe B. Mauldin | Source
Elvis Presley 1955
Elvis Presley 1955 | Source

Buddy fell in love with Elvis and we began to change. The next day we became Elvis clones

— Sonny Curtis

After high school, Holly formed a band, Buddy and Bob, playing country and western songs regularly on the local radio station. They frequently opened for more prominent national acts touring through the town. The band's opening for Elvis Presley in 1955 was a crucial turning point for the singer. "When Elvis came along," one of the band members, Sonny Curtis, recalls, "Buddy fell in love with Elvis and we began to change. The next day we became Elvis clones." Although the bespectacled, bow-tied youth lacked Elvis's natural sex appeal, Buddy Holly's conversion from country to rock 'n' roll was soon noticed by a talent scout who saw his act at a skating rink and signed him to a contract.

In 1956, Holly and his band began recording in Nashville under the name Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes, but the group's line-up later changed and so did the name of the band to “The Crickets.” Holly wrote and recorded his breakthrough hit, "That'll Be the Day," with The Crickets in 1957. The song's title is a reference to a line uttered by John Wayne in the 1956 film The Searchers. Between August 1957 and August 1958, Buddy Holly and the Crickets charted seven different Top 40 singles. "That'll Be the Day" topped the U.S. chart exactly 500 days before Holly's untimely death.

He was joined on this flight by fellow performers Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper

BBC On This Day: 3rd February 1959

Buddy Holly Killed in Plane Crash

"Three young rock 'n' roll stars have been killed in a plane crash in the United States.

Buddy Holly, 22, Jiles P Richardson - known as the Big Bopper - 28, and Ritchie Valens, 17, died in a crash shortly after take-off from Clear Lake, Iowa at 0100 local time.

The pilot of the single-engined Beechcraft Bonanza plane was also killed.

Early reports from the scene suggest the aircraft spun out of control during a light snowstorm."

Holly left The Crickets in October 1958 and moved to Greenwich Village in New York City to pursue a solo career. Ongoing legal and financial problems resulting from the band's break-up led Buddy to reluctantly agree to tour the Midwest in 1959 with The Winter Dance Party. Tired of enduring broken-down buses in subfreezing conditions, Holly decided to charter a private plane from Clear Lake, Iowa, to the tour's next stop in Moorhead, Minnesota. He was joined on this flight by fellow performers Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. As has been well documented, the ill-fated plane crashed within minutes of leaving the ground, killing all aboard. Buddy Holly was just 22 years old.

What strikes me as a little eerie here, is that at the time I was just 21 months old but I can distinctly remember hearing the radio broadcast announcing this plane crash and the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. It makes you question just how far back memories can go and at what age you can actually absorb and understand things you hear. Unless I heard the broadcast repeated years later and only thought I heard it live??


..the day the music died.

— Don McLean

Buddy Holly's death was immortalized by Don McLean in his legendary song "American Pie" with the words "the day the music died." Holly's music never died though, despite the singer's tragic and untimely death. Due to the continued popularity of his music and film adaptations of his life's story, Holly's distinctive geeky looks and horn-rimmed glasses are easily recognizable today.

Though his professional career spanned just there short years, Buddy Holly recorded over 35 original songs as well as covers of many songs by others who inspired him (78 songs that I can count in total) on seven albums, most released after his death. A compilation called "Not Fade Away: the complete studio recordings and more" released in 2008 in fact features 203 tracks. His songs influenced the likes of Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan. The Rolling Stones’ first Top 10 single in 1964 was a cover of Holly's "Not Fade Away." Many other artists have released covers of Holly's songs including Anne Murray and Leo Sayer doing versions of "Raining In My Heart", the latter's being quite a hit in 1971. The Beatles actually chose their name as homage to The Crickets, and Paul McCartney has since purchased Holly's publishing rights.


Two Poems, Not One

I tried to write an acrostic poem using only the titles of songs that Buddy Holly had performed. It was much more difficult than expected and although I managed to complete it, I wasn't happy with the flow. Being limited by only song titles really restricted me. Nevertheless, I have included it here. However, I decided to write another one in rhyme, and still acrostic, but not confined by the names of his songs. I have included it in this hub as well, but I'm not 100% happy with it either. Please tell me which you prefer. I may continue to work on both and try to improve them.


Raining in My Heart (a Free Verse Acrostic Poem)

Raining in my heart,

Ain't got no home.

I saw the moon cry last night.

Never forget me.

I'll just pretend,

Not fade away.


I heard the Lord calling for me.

Now we're one.

More and more,

You are my one desire.

Have you ever been lonely?

Early in the morning,

An empty cup.


True love ways.

Rain Clouds Will Never Tear Us Apart (a rhyming acrostic poem)

Riding a light plane

Against the storm,

Into the darkness,

Never see dawn.

I hear angels singing,

No words I have heard.

Guitars are strumming,

I fly like a bird.

Never forget me

My sweet Peggy Sue.

Yell my name loudly,

Help my songs stay true.

Ever and ever,

Always in my heart.

Rainclouds will never

Tear us apart.


Who do you consider had the greatest influence on Rock n Roll and/or Pop Music?

See results

© 2015 John Hansen


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