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The Crickets


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The Crickets were the backing band formed by singer/songwriter Buddy Holly in the 1950s. It consisted of Jerry Allison (drums), Joe B Mauldin (bass) and Nikki Sullivan (rhythm guitar).

Many believe that The Crickets chose their name while listening to a playback of “I’m Gonna Love You Too.” This is not true; the name was chosen while going through an encyclopedia of names. Other names had been considered including The Scoundrels and The Spiders. Holly’s manager(Norman Petty) and owner of the Norman Petty Studio in Clovis NM decided to keep the chirping in the record, but this is in no way tied to the origin of the band’s name. In real life, they chose the name due to huge number of crickets in Texas that particular time of year. It should be worth noting that they almost chose the name The Beetles, which John Lennon later named his band in homage to Holly and the Crickets.

Nikki Sullivan wasn’t comfortable with the amount of traveling and to a lesser extent, he didn’t fit in with Jerry and Joe B. For the same reason, Jerry and Joe were not ready to leave small town Lubbock for big city NY. The big move was the real reason why the Crickets broke up, but Holly was not daunted by the breakup; he chose a new back-up band for the Winter Dance Party Tour. The new band consisted of Tommy Allsup, Waylon Jennings and Carl Bunch on drums. Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were booked on the tour with Holly and his new band. Dion and newcomer Frankie Sardo also performed on this particular tour. But after about 4 months, Jerry and Joe B began to have second thoughts about the breakup of the band. They had planned to fly to Moorehead, MN and surprise their friend. Destiny stepped in and the music world suffered its first tragic accident February 3, 1959.


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