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Classic Album

It was difficult enough for The Crickets to attempt to cut an album without Buddy Holly. It was harder still after their legendary leader tragically died. But when it finally emerged, In Style With The Crickets was a cool classic. Here’s how a band fought folklore… and won

IN STYLE WITH THE CRICKETS

In December 1960, hardcore rock’n’roll fans were surprised by the appearance of In Style With the Crickets, the second album by the group many still considered ‘Buddy Holly’s band’. It had been over three years since the group’s first album, The Chirping Crickets, and almost two years since Holly’s death in the plane crash that shook the music world. Since that tragedy, the reorganised Crickets released four singles, none of which made a blip on the US charts. By the time of the album release, The Crickets were history, with the members scattered around the world and working in different professions.

What might have been a footnote on the band’s career was actually the beginning of another chapter in a convoluted story. The Crickets were originally formed in May 1957 as an alias for Buddy Holly. Holly had recorded the song That’ll Be The Day several months earlier as a solo artist for Decca Records. Even though his contract with Decca ended in January 1957, he was legally prohibited from re-recording any of his Decca material for five years. Despite the restriction, Holly and his band thought they had a winner with a new arrangement of That’ll Be The Day and were proven correct when The Crickets’ version was released by Brunswick Records and shot to No. 1 in September 1957.

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About Vintage Rock

'Maybe Tomorrow?’ No, the new issue of Vintage Rock is out now and stars... Billy Fury! Our 20-page special includes an interview with his latter-day backing band Fury’s Tornados and Vince Eager recalls his part in the landmark new album ‘The Symphonic Sound Of Fury’. We also hear from The Beach Boys’ Mike Love and Bruce Johnston about how the legendary band made the transition from doo-wop-influenced rock’n’rollers to symphonic pop geniuses. Our Classic Album is ‘In Style With The Crickets’, an amazing triumph following the tragic death of Buddy Holly. We talk exclusively to Gary ‘US’ Bonds about his early days cutting hot R&B in Virginia, his comeback with Bruce Springsteen and his return to live shows. With a new CD and biography released, we revisit the career of Wee Willie Harris, British rock’n’roll’s strangest and smallest star. PLUS! We talk to the folks building and revamping 50s Jukeboxes, we hand-pick Sam Cooke’s Top 20 hits and speak to Jerry Lee’s sister Linda Gail Lewis. In our live reviews, we head to the Wildest Cats In Town weekender where Charlie Gracie reined supreme, plus there’s a memorable doo-wop reunion in London. And we visit the world of Rockabilly-Radio online.