in CAT

C.A.T: The "Chirping" Crickets

The Crickets- The “Chirping” Crickets (1957)

We had a good run with our regular “Classic Album Tuesday” segment spanning consecutive albums from 1976-2003, but I think there’s a point where you have to draw the line on how much time is needed for an album to become a classic, so we settled snugly in the mid 2000s. So now I’m turning back the clock to present to you my favorite album of the 50s, a decade yet to be represented by our CAT feature.

I can firmly say that Buddy Holly is my not only my favorite artist of the Rockabilly genre, but of the 1950s as well. With such a distinct geeky howl, janglin’ geetar, and such prowess as a songwriter, he truly was an amazing figure in rock. Racking up such classics as; “Oh Boy”, “Not Fade Away”, “Maybe Baby”, “That’ll Be the Day”, “I’m Looking for Someone to Love”, “Everyday”, “Rave On”, “Words of Love” and “Peggy Sue” all within a mere 2 1/2 year span before his tragic death at the age of 22.

This album (one of only three released during his lifetime) is perhaps is most impressive work. Containing six of the songs previously mentioned, this might as well be a greatest hits, cause they just a keep on coming. Now before I go any further I should probably address the fact that this is not a solo album. Here Holly works alongside drummer Jerry Allison, bassist Joe B. Maudlin and rhythm guitarist Niki Sullivan to form the slick quartet that is The Crickets. And these guys weren’t just a backup band, they wrote alongside Holly as well. There couldn’t of been many other bands during the 50s that that functioned that way, so in a way these guys were real trailblazers.

The songs present are all oozing with that 50s rockabilly charm that Holly very much helped popularize. The melodies are tight and simple and the backup vocals provided by an additional group of vocalists make for a delightfully charming listening experience. The Beatles were supposedly inspired greatly by this vocal approach and have always considered Holly a great influence. As a matter of fact I believe Paul McCartney still owns the Buddy Holly catalog. Hmm, anyways yeah, what an album what a legend.

Favorite Tracks: “Oh Boy”, “Maybe Baby” “That’ll Be the Day”