A brainchild of Laurie Mansfield, the jukebox musical was written by Alan Janes. One of the earliest jukebox musicals ever written, it consists almost entirely of songs by Buddy Holly and other influential rock stars. It premiered at London’s West End in 1989 and ran for more than five thousand performances until 2002, making it one of the longest-running musicals in West End’s history. Following its successful run at the West End, the musical has been adapted worldwide, including having a Tony nominated stint at Broadway.
Born Chares Hardin Holley in 1936, Holly was introduced to music at an early age. His family was involved in music and young Buddy learnt to play the piano, violin and guitar as a young boy. Starting off by playing at school shows and local bars, Holly did not find much success as a solo artist. His big break came after the formation of his own band "The Crickets". "The Crickets" would go on to become one of the most influential bands of their time with worldwide hits like "That’ll be The Day", "Peggy Sue" And "Not Fade Away". Just as Holly became an international superstar, his career came to a tragic end, when he died in a plane crash in 1959, just three years after his career had begun. The day since then has been referred to as "The day that music died".
The musical starts off by introducing Holly and his two friends, Joe and Jerry, who form "The Crickets" as they start their careers in the music industry. They sign a record deal with producer Norman Petty and within hours of meeting, record the hit single "That’ll Be the Day". The song catapults the band to national fame and Buddy Holly and The Crickets become the next big thing in music.
Following their success, the band begins a tour of New York, where Holly meets Puerto Rican receptionist Maria Elena Santiago. After just five hours of courting, he proposes to her and they get married. Following his marriage, Holly shifts his focus to New York, where his wife lives and a rift develops in the band. During a recording session, the band finally breaks up after certain words are exchanged in anger.
Once again pursuing a solo career, Holly undertakes the Winter Dance Party 1959 tour, which is a bus tour through the Midwest. The weather conditions are simply appalling and the performers are extremely uncomfortable. Following his last live performance, Holly breaks his promise to his pregnant wife to not fly by air and charters a plane to take the performers to Moorhead from Clear Lake. The plane crashes shortly after take-off and there are no survivors.
Featuring some of the greatest songs from the Golden Years of rock n’ roll, including "Peggy Sue", "Not Fade Away", "That’ll Be The Day", "Oh Boy", "Maybe Baby", "Everyday", "Rave On", "Ritchie Valens’ "La Bamba", "Raining In My Heart", and the Big Bopper’s "Chantilly Lace", this wonderful musical has been viewed by over twenty million people worldwide. So do not miss out on a chance to catch this musical live and buy The Buddy Holly Story tickets now and relive the life of one of the greatest artists ever.