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I'm Staton Rabin, and I write books for teens and tweens. February 3, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the day the world lost three bright young stars: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson). In the opinion of many, the most gifted of these musicians was Buddy Holly-- the remarkable young man from West Texas who was legally blind, but saw the future of rock 'n' roll. Many of you may remember Buddy, and I wanted to provide a place on the Kindle Boards where fans can share their memories of him and his music. And for those who are learning about him here for the first time: welcome!

From a musical standpoint, Buddy Holly was the most influential singer/songwriter of early rock 'n' roll. The Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, and countless other rock stars since have all spoken of their enormous debt to Buddy Holly and his music. In just l8 months, Buddy and the Crickets created 25 songs ("Oh Boy!", "That'll Be the Day", "Everyday", "Peggy Sue", "Rave On", "It's So Easy", "Not Fade Away", etc.) that are still classics today. Bruce Springsteen once told "Rolling Stone" that he plays Buddy Holly songs backstage before every performance because it keeps him honest. After Buddy Holly came along, if you were talented, you didn't have to look like Elvis in order to become a rock star-- you could look like the cute geek next door. Buddy and his band, the Crickets, were the first rock group ever to write, arrange, and perform their own music, and also the first American rock band to visit England.

I've written a new book about Buddy Holly for the Kindle. Here's how it came about:

About two years ago, I stopped in at my local video store, looking for the l978 movie about Buddy Holly starring Gary Busey as Buddy. When I asked the clerk, who was about l5 years old, "Do you have 'The Buddy Holly Story'?", she replied, "How do you spell that first word?"

That's when I realized that, sadly, many teens today don't know who Buddy Holly is, and have never heard his music. Somebody ought to write a biography of Buddy Holly for teens!, I thought. But even though I write books for young people for a living, and was trained in music, I was not a guitarist. So I was reluctant to take on the awesome responsibility of writing the only book about Buddy for teens. How could I ever do him justice? I just wanted to forget the whole thing.

But 24 hours a day, Buddy's songs kept ringing in my head. The music just wouldn't leave me alone. Finally, that Sunday, I went for a walk. I figured that maybe if I could just get away from home for a while, I wouldn't have to think about it anymore. As I reached the top of Main Street, I passed through a gas station. Something made me look down. Lying there on the pavement was a pair of black, '50s-style horn-rimmed eyeglasses.

That's when I surrendered, and knew I had to write the book. And it's become the "passion project" of my life. As Sonny Curtis, Buddy Holly's bandmate, once wrote, the music didn't die at all-- because Buddy Holly lives everytime we play rock and roll.

I hope Buddy Holly fans of all ages-- and those who are discovering him now for the first time-- will use their Kindle to read more about him, will listen to his music, and gather here to remember Buddy in the coming days. Fans of Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper are welcome, too, of course.
 

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Welcome, Staton! Glad to have you here. Here's a link to your book. It looks interesting. I have actually been to Lubbock, Texas and have seen the Buddy Holly statue that is there!

 

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Thank you so much Staton and welcome!!  I'm a total Buddy Holly fan and thank you for your book!!  We live in Iowa and my husband and I have been to a Johnnie Rivers concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa where Buddy and crew had their last concert before their plane crashed a short time after leaving.
 

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Wow!  Thanks for the lovely welcome everybody gave me at this site--  I really appreciate it. 8)  Thanks to Jeff and Vicki--  and Leslie, that's great that you've been to Lubbock and have seen the statue of Buddy Holly that they have there.  The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock even has Buddy's famous eyeglasses and his Fender Stratocaster guitar.  Kathy, that's great that your l6-year-old son might be interested in my Kindle book about Buddy-  he's part of that whole generation that I hope will carry Buddy's music with them into the future.  And to PraiseGod13, you're right that the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa was the site of Buddy's final concert-- and, as you know, they've got a whole bunch of exciting events planned there for the "50th anniversary" week leading up to Feb. 3, 2009.  Also, new web sites about Buddy Holly are springing up like weeds.  Well, "weeds" is the wrong word--  they're excellent, so I should say "like roses in January"! And I've been invited to participate in a podcast, the Kindle Chronicles (Len Edgerly's show) where I'll be interviewed about my Buddy Holly book and why I chose Kindle for the release of it. So I'm really excited about that.  Thanks again to everyone here for helping to keep Buddy Holly's music and spirit alive.  Or as Buddy Holly fans say, "Rave on!"
Best wishes,
Staton Rabin 
 

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Thanks, Linda- I appreciate your good wishes.  I will go listen to Leslie's podcast right now.  And it was nice of Leslie, by the way, to post my Buddy Holly book link on these boards. 
 

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Congratulations on your endeavor.  I can't believe it's been fifty years.  My neighbor across the street reminds us of buddy holly same hair, smile and glasses.  Buddy was a true talent.  The song written about the tragedy, American Pie...long version (Don McLean) is one of my favorite songs.  Besides Buddy:  I believe Bobby Darin was also talented though troubled, as I read his story as well.  Currently, Paul Anka is still writing for many.  He has a phenomenal band. 

I wish you success with your book.  I wish teens today had a better appreciation for our music.  We didn't have to swear, or talk trash to have a hit record.  We did it all without the shock factor. 
 

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Thanks, SJC, for your kind note.  You mentioned Paul Anka, and he wrote one of my favorite Buddy Holly songs, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore".  Buddy Holly was not only a brilliant singer/musician/songwriter, but also a really good person. In writing my new book about Buddy, this was an aspect of the work that I especially enjoyed:  the fact that I was writing about a person with a good heart who deserves to be remembered for that, as well as for his music.  It seems that everybody who knew him personally loved him.  He was also very generous with his bandmates, who were also his friends.  Buddy was an intense perfectionist about his work, of course, as all talented people are.  But he was a kind, loyal, and generous person.  He was just complicated enough to be really interesting---  but he was basically "a nice kid".  In my book, I have a section on what it would have been like to actually meet him.  That's something I really worked hard to capture in my book, OH BOY!.  I usually write books about historical figures like Napoleon and Rasputin.  So it was quite a switch for me to write about a thoroughly great guy like Buddy! 
 

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What a cool looking book. I generally spend no more than $4.99 tops but am going to buy this one. I'm glad the thread got bumped as I missed this originally. I've seen the movie several times and enjoy it. I really enjoy his music too. Being a Texan myself, I believe Buddy Holly was one of the great talented Texans. His death was a major loss to music.
 

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Thanks, LDB, for checking out my book-- especially on this special day. I feel a mix of joy at how much attention Buddy Holly and his music are getting today (it's been wall-to-wall Buddy Holly on TV, in radio, and in newspapers) and of course sadness at the great loss. I hope that today's media coverage starts a whole new wave of interest in Buddy Holly's music. You can hear an interview about how I came to write the book at Len Edgerly's The Kindle Chronicles, www.thekindlechronicles.com (interview #28, Staton Rabin, download by clicking on the arrow) and why I chose Kindle for its first edition. There have been a series of pretty amazing coincidences involving this book, and I talk about one of them in that interview.

I have a question for the group: What do you all think that Buddy Holly would be doing if he were still with us today?
 

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Thanks!  Yes, I think producing interested Buddy Holly very much.  He was planning to build a recording studio in Lubbock--  had already had the blueprints drawn up--  and at the time of his death had already started producing for some other artists.  I think recently his widow, Maria Elena, described him as a multi-tasker!   
 

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Thanks so much for writing your book and making it available on the Kindle (since that's all I read now.. hah!) - I'm turning 60 this spring and remember the day of the accident.  I was only in grade school and trying to understand what happened but it was a sad time for all of us.  I listen to Buddy Holly now on my I-Pod and often wonder what would have become of him had he lived longer.  Such a talent, such a loss.
 

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Thanks, Bordercollielady, for the kind words-- and for your memories of 'the day the music died'. For many who were children at the time, this was the first death they'd ever experienced personally, and it hit them hard. And thanks, SJC, for posting that "million dollar trio" (kind of like the "million dollar quartet!"): Ray Charles, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis! What a rare, fun appearance!

Here's Buddy Holly:
 
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