♫ That’ll Be The Day ♫

Last week when I played Tommy Roe’s Dizzy, a comment by Keith mentioned Buddy Holly … a music legend of his time, yet one whose work I have never played here!  Oversight on my part.  So, tonight I am taking you waaaaaaaayyyyyy back … to a time some of you weren’t even yet born.

The year was 1957 … I was six years old, but I still remember this one as if it were … well, a few decades ago!  A bit of cool history from SongFacts …

Holly had been kicking around his home town in Lubbock, Texas trying to write a hit song for his small rockabilly band since he had attended an Elvis Presley gig at his High School some time in 1955. His band in those days consisted of him on lead vocals and guitar, Jerry Allison on the drums and Joe B. Maudlin on upright bass. He and Jerry decided to get together and go see The Searchers, a Western movie staring John Wayne. In the movie, Wayne keeps replying, “That’ll be the day,” every time another character in the film predicts or proclaims something will happen when he felt it was not likely to happen. The phrase stuck in Jerry’s mind, and when they were hanging out at Jerry’s house one night, Buddy looked at Jerry and said that it sure would be nice if they could record a hit song. Jerry replied with, “That’ll be the day,” imitating John Wayne in the film.

Holly and his band The Three Tunes recorded this in Nashville in 1956, but Decca records didn’t like the result and refused to release it. A year later, Holly re-recorded it with The Crickets in a studio in Clovis, New Mexico owned by his new producer, Norman Petty. Backup vocalists were brought in and the key was lowered to fit Holly’s voice a little better. This version became a huge hit and made Holly a star that summer.

Norman Petty took a writing credit on this because he produced it. This meant Holly and Allison had to share royalties with him.

This was Holly’s first hit, but it was credited to The Crickets, Holly’s band. They worked with two record labels, with one releasing Holly’s songs as The Crickets and the other as Buddy Holly. Both labels were subsidiaries of Decca Records.

This song reached #1 in both the UK and the U.S. and inspired the British 1973 movie of the same name, about a young man with dreams of becoming a rock star.  It was also the first song John Lennon learned to play on guitar. American rock stars like Holly and Little Richard were a big influence on The Beatles.

That’ll Be the Day
Buddy Holly

Well, that’ll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that’ll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you’re gonna leave, you know it’s a lie
‘Cause that’ll be the day when I die

Well, you give me all your loving and your turtle doving
All your hugs and kisses and your money too
Well, you know you love me baby, until you tell me, maybe
That some day, well I’ll be through

Well, that’ll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that’ll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you’re gonna leave, you know it’s a lie
‘Cause that’ll be the day when I die

Well, that’ll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that’ll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you’re gonna leave, you know it’s a lie
‘Cause that’ll be the day when I die

Well, when Cupid shot his dart he shot it at your heart
So if we ever part and I leave you
You sit and hold me and you tell me boldly
That some day, well I’ll be blue

Well, that’ll be the day, when you say goodbye
Yes, that’ll be the day, when you make me cry
You say you’re gonna leave, you know it’s a lie
‘Cause that’ll be the day when I die

Well, that’ll be the day, woo ho
That’ll be the day, woo ho
That’ll be the day, woo ho
That’ll be the day

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jerry Allison / Buddy Holly / Norman Petty
That’ll Be the Day lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG Rights Management

17 thoughts on “♫ That’ll Be The Day ♫

  1. This is an oldie. I was sixteen when this came out and a junior in high school. My dad was a John Wayne fan so we saw all his popular movies including “The Searchers”. When the bad guy did something John didn’t like my dad would say: “He shouldn’t have done that.” Thanks for sharing. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After all these long years, how many people still know the Beatles were named after the Crickets. Was it really the Beatles that changed music history, or did they just pick up where the Crickets were forced to leave off? Whichever, sure glad we had both bands. Music has bever been the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Jill for the post and shout out. The story you shared is terrific, especially the John Wayne lyric influence. It is neat that John Lennon learned to play this song. I did not know an earlier version had been recorded.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I ran across mention of it multiple times as I was writing this post, so I shall definitely check and see if it’s on Amazon. Well, I checked … Amazon does not have it except on DVD, but I found it on YouTube! I’ve added it to my ‘to be watched’ list!

      Liked by 1 person

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