Buddy Holly was 22 years old when he died on the edge of an icy field somewhere in the mid-West in February 1959. 22 is an age at which many people, myself included, have barely decided what to do with their life. Buddy had not only decided what he wanted to do, he had already gone out and done it, and left a legacy that very few have equalled in a lifetime of natural length.
His early influences were country and blues, despite the fact that his birthplace - Lubbock, Texas - was a highly segregated town. From those two styles Buddy created his own, which was dubbed "Western and Bop".
His first single was Ben Hall's Blue Days, Black Nights ( 1956 ), which he followed up with That'll Be The Day, recorded in 1956 but released in 1957 - an up tempo bop number which has become a huge rock and roll favourite, but which was a flop when first released in a slower country style.
The songs which followed, many of which are now regarded as classics of their type, speak directly to their audience with a simple honesty which some areas of rock have since lost, mired in interminable masturbatory guitar solos, pretentious themed concepts, or just plain rock star money-sex-and-drugs decadence.
Buddy's songs, like those of Chuck Berry, form part of the bedrock of rock and roll, and his influence on the course of popular music is hard to overestimate.