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The Buddy Holly vs. Gary Busey Review

Updated on February 27, 2019
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets  in 1957 top to bottom  Allison, Holly and Mauldin.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets in 1957 top to bottom Allison, Holly and Mauldin. | Source

A Glimpse of Buddy Holly

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American musician, singer-songwriter and record producer who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.

Holly made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group "Buddy and Bob" with his friend, Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band's style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashvillescout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records. NOTE: Holly, “Jesse” and “Ray Bob,” were doing a paying gig at a local skating rink in Lubbock, Tx., but Holly’s music style was not to be appreciated by the Establishment, but Holly did not give in or give up.

Say Hello to Buddy Holly's

first Crickets were Joe B. Mauldin, Niki Sullivan, Jerry Allison, and a young Waylon Jennings, played bass in Holly’s early band. Then later in the film, where the Skating Rink in Lubbock, TX., was a distant memory, Holly played with his two buddies, Holly’s back-up band consisting of: Don Stroud, “Jesse,” drums and Charles Martin Smith "Ray Bob" on stand-up bass.The local teenagers loved what this trio were saying to them, so enter Rock ‘N Roll. The film even explores the church were Holly and his parents listen as this preacher throws one anti-Rock “N Roll song and said that it was nothing more than black man’s music, to which Holly was highly-put off and decided to go for his music on a full-time basis.

It was during the scene where “Jesse,” “Ray Bob,” and “Buddy,” were in “Buddy’s” garage recording “That’ll Be The Day,” when the sound of a cricket kept chirping loud enough to break-up the much-needed rehearsal time. Of course, you were thinking ahead of the script as the three Lubbock friends became “Buddy” Holly and The Crickets.

Busey in 2007/
Busey in 2007/ | Source

Let's Talk About

William Gary Busey( born June 29, 1944)is an American actor. A prolific character actor, Busey has appeared in over 150 films, including Lethal Weapon(1987), Predator 2(1990), Point Break(1991), Under Siege(1992),The Firm(1993), Carried Away(1996), Black Sheep(1996), Lost Highway(1997), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas(1998), The Gingerdead Man(2005) Quigley(2003), and Piranha 3DD(2012). Busey also made guest appearances on television shows such as Gunsmoke, Walker, Texas Ranger, Law & Order, Scrubs, Suits, and Entourage.

Personally, I cannot kick dirt at him for portraying the legendary Rock Idol, Buddy Holly.

For portraying Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story(1978), Busey was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor. Not bad for a kid from Oklahoma.

The only real down side to the script about the Buddy Holly Story was in the last half-hour where Holly with wailing with all of his fiber his classic hits as well as the new and I have to object at the producers freezing Busey/Holly while the credits begin to roll and the sad, heart-rending fact about Holly’s fateful flight out of Cedar Point, Iowa and thus ending the Buddy Holly Story.

But the Crickets surprised Holly’s wife,Maria, who was at home at the time, and the two began to share their news about them wanting to come back to play with Holly and this, of course, made Maria very happy—this segment should have been stretched in order to show “Jesse” and “Ray Bob,” just how much they missed him. Plus they were set to fly to Clear Lake, Iowa to where Holly and a few singing stars of that generation were in the throws of performing a Winter Carnival, put on by Holly’s record company, to keep him and those singers like: Sam Cooke, J.P. Richardson “Big Bopper,” and Eddie Cochran who loved to sit-in with Holly on stage. Cochran went on to not only pen, but perform several song hits that some considered way before their time.

Toward The Film’s End

the musicians packed up their instruments and finalized the flight arrangements. Holly's bass player, Waylon Jennings, was scheduled to fly on the plane but gave his seat to the Big Bopper, who was suffering from a cold. Holly's guitarist Tommy Allsup agreed to flip a coin with RichieValens for the remaining seat.

"The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson. ... Richardson, who had the flu, swapped places with Jennings, taking his seat on the plane, while Allsup lost his seat to Valens on a coin toss. Little did Valens, Richardson, and Holly realize that this trip would be their final flight, Feb. 3, 1959.

Flight origin: Mason City Municipal Airport, Iowa; Operator:Dwyer Flying Service, Mason City, Iowa; Aircraft type: Beechcraft Bonanza and Site: Near Clear Lake, Iowa.

A Few Unknown Buddy Holly Facts:

Gary Busey did all of the singing as in the movie, the audience embraced Buddy Holly and his band. The actors did their own singing and played their own instruments live during the filming of the production numbers. This included the film's main players Gary Busey, Don Stroud(I)', and Charles Martin Smith.

*"Peggy Sue" was originally "Cindy Lou." ...

*"Rock & roll as we know it wouldn't exist without Buddy Holly." ...

*He had just one number one hit. ...If not for Holly's band, The Crickets, there would be no Beatles. ...

*He turned down Ed Sullivan.

*His glasses made him a fashion trendsetter.

*The Buddy Holly Story' came out in May 1978. ..Filmingbegan in September 1975

*The budget of the Buddy Holly Story was $1,200.000.00 and Grossed over $14.5 million dollars.

In certain scenes, (e.g. the Holly Family having lunch after church—when their preacher scolded Buddy for his music choice.) I thought that Busey did not show that much emotion as Holly, but only stating dialogue.

The only thing I, and the many fans of Buddy Holly and The Crickets, can ask, “what if?”

(I give this film review a 3 and a half stars out of 5).

Are you a Buddy Holly Fan? You can Check These Sites. . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Crickets

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy Holly


February 24, 2019____________________________________________


 Publicity shot for  Brunswick Records.
Publicity shot for Brunswick Records. | Source

© 2019 Kenneth Avery

Comments

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      lunaticdiaries -- You comment said it all. My sincere thanks to you both. Whewww. Time for a nap.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Liz -- You are so gracious that I do not know what to say, but thank you so much.

      Keep writing and stay safe.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 years ago from UK

      This is an interesting and well-worked review.

    • lunaticdiaries profile image

      lunaticdiaries 

      2 years ago

      It was a great movie & Busey fit the role at the time. Buddy's early passing was a tragedy. It was a terrible loss of three talented artists. I haven't thought about this movie in awhile. Thanks for bringing it back to life.

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