On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Buddy Holly & The Crickets – That’ll Be the Day (1957)
We have something of a music legend as our guest today. His career would last less than a decade but his influence on future artists such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan would ensure his legacy. Today we have Buddy Holly and the song from his brief catalogue is That’ll Be the Day, a phrase taken from the John Wayne Western, The Searchers. Holly would first record the song in 1956 with Three Tunes but it would be his 1957 version with The Crickets that propelled him to stardom.
That’ll Be the Day is a tragic love song with Buddy Holly singing of a woman he has lost. The title is repeated throughout as the day that the romance between him and this unnamed woman came to an end. Holly sounds desperate in the song, trying to convince himself that this love will surely not end, for if it does that will be the end of his life and would this woman really want that?
Buddy Holly’s influence is without question and he was a massive name in the genre of rock and roll. That’ll Be the Day is just one example of the young man’s talent. Many more hits would follow. Sadly, Holly’s career would come to an end on 3 February 1959 when he boarded a private plane along with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. The plane would crash shortly after take off with all three musicians being killed on impact along with the pilot. Holly was just 22 years old. Don McLean would later immortalise this tragic moment in his song American Pie and it would come to be known ever afterwards as The Day the Music Died.
Favourite songs so far:
Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)
Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)
Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)