Buddy Holly Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Aashita Dhingra
Nov 15, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on May 16, 2022
Here are some interesting facts about Buddy Holly, American musician extraordinaire
All ages
Read time: 6.0 Min

About Buddy Holly

Charles Hardin Holley was popularly known as American musician Buddy Holly.
Buddy Holly was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He is often regarded as one of the doyens of rock and roll.
Buddy Holly died at the young age of 22 in a plane crash. Turbulent weather led to the aircraft crashing into a field near Clear Lake, Iowa. The musicians: Buddy, Ritchie Valens, and JP Richardson, along with the pilot, Roger Peterson, all succumbed to injuries sustained during the crash. Singer-songwriter Don McLean described the fateful day as 'the day that music died' in his song ‘American Pie.’
Buddy Holly's recorded songs were released posthumously and broke records. Keep reading and take a closer look at the life of Buddy Holly.

Buddy Holly Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Buddy Holly's net worth?

Buddy had an estimated net worth of $1 million at the time of his passing. The net worth is inclusive of $60,000 in royalties. The current net worth of Holly's estate is estimated to be $20 million.
María Elena Holly, Buddy's wife, became the owner of Buddy's copyrights after his demise. There were legal disputes between Maria Holly and Buddy's family, as well as disputes with record labels over royalties. Maria relinquished half of the intellectual property rights to Buddy's parents; this half was later inherited by his siblings. They also received $500,000 in court settlement from the record label MCA.

How much did Buddy Holly earn per year?

Buddy earned an estimated $50,000 per year in his time. This is equivalent to around $400,000 in today's money (as of 2022). He was one of the highest-paid rock and roll stars of his time.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Buddy Holly?

Buddy Holly was 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) tall.

How old was Buddy Holly?

Buddy Holly was born on September 7, 1936. Buddy Holly died on February 3, 1959. He was 22 years old at the time of his passing.

Childhood And Education

Buddy Holly hailed from Lubbock, Texas. Buddy's father was Lawrence Holley, and his mother was Ella Drake. Buddy was the youngest of four children, hence getting the nickname 'Buddy'. He had two older brothers, Larry and Travis, and a sister, Patricia Lou.
Buddy started his musical career in 1955 after his graduation from Lubbock High School.
Except for his father, everyone else in Buddy's family was a singer or musician. Buddy's family was supportive and encouraged his musical career from an early age; Buddy's brothers taught him to play the guitar.
Buddy first appeared in 1952 on a television talent show with his friend Jack Neal as a duo that they called 'Buddy and Jack'. Jack was replaced by Buddy's school friend Bob Montgomery, and they formed the duo 'Buddy and Bob' in 1953. The duo was giving performances across Lubbock.
Jerry Allison, Don Guess, and Sonny Curtis also frequently accompanied Holly. By 1955, his band included bassist Larry Welborn and drummer Jerry Allison.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Buddy Holly's partner?

Buddy Holly was married to María Elena Holly (née Santiago).

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Buddy was the opening act for Elvis Presley and Bill Haley & his Comets. This marked the transition of his original country and western rhythm and blues style music to rock music.
The band The Crickets was formed by Buddy with drummer Jerry Allison, Niki Sullivan (rhythm guitar), and bassist Joe Mauldin in 1956. The single 'That'll Be The Day' was released by Brunswick Records Label under the band's name The Crickets in 1957.
The single became a chart-topper and reigned at the top spot for three weeks. The next single, 'Peggy Sue', was also a chart-topper on the singles, pop, and rhythm and blues charts.
The album 'The Chirping Crickets' (1957) was ranked fifth on the album charts. The band toured intensively across the globe, including UK and Australia. The band was also featured in 1958 on 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.
In 1958, Tommy Allsup was brought on board the band. The original Crickets split up in 1958 when Holly moved to New York. Allison, Mauldin, and Curtis continued on as The Crickets with other musicians after Holly's death.
Buddy's debut album 'Buddy Holly' (1958) featured 'Words Of Love', 'I'm Gonna Love You Too', and 'Rave On'. Some of his most famous compositions are 'Love Me', 'Blue Days, Black Nights', 'Oh, Boy!', 'Not Fade Away', 'Heartbeat', 'Maybe Baby', 'Love Is Strange', 'Listen To Me', 'Everyday' and 'Think It Over'.
Buddy banded up with bassist Waylon Jennings, guitarist Tommy Allsup and drummer Carl Bunch for the Winter Dance Party Tour in 1959. Buddy's last performance was on February 2, 1959.
'The Buddy Holly Story', 'Reminiscing', 'Showcase', 'Giant' and 'Holly In The Hills' are some of Buddy's albums released posthumously. They were compiled using his unpublished recorded works with overdubbing and background support from his band, and vocals by other singers.
Buddy's style of music was a unique mix of rock 'n' roll, pop music, country music, and rhythm and blues. Buddy also had a distinctive singing style of hiccups and shifting between his normal voice and a falsetto. His guitar playing was also characterized by percussive rhythms. His signature guitar, Fender Stratocaster, was electric and specifically chosen for its tone.
Buddy Holly stands apart as the man who redefined rock and roll with the ensemble of two guitars, bass, and percussion. He is also known for promoting the overdubbing and reverb effects to produce new sounds.
Many artists such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, and Elton John regard Buddy as an inspiration.

Charity Work

The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation was set up in 2010 by Buddy's wife. The foundation sponsors musical education.
A considerable portion of Holly's personal artifacts has been donated to the Buddy Holly Center. The center was established in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas, in 1999. The center houses memorabilia such as his guitar, spectacles, albums, and personal articles such as letters and costumes. The center hosts educational programs and also functions as a performing arts arena.

What awards did Buddy Holly win?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame, instated Holly as a member in 1986 in recognition of his phenomenal contributions to the field of music. He was also inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
Holly received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and a Grammy in 1997. Buddy was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
Buddy was awarded a posthumous star on the Music City Walk of Fame and Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 and on the occasion of his 75th birthday in 2011, respectively.

Buddy Holly's Hobbies And Interests

Buddy was fond of fishing, reading, hunting, and painting.

Other Interesting Buddy Holly Facts And Trivia

  • The band The Hollies was named to commemorate Buddy Holly.
  • Buddy Holly sported a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles that set up a fashion trend, and the glasses came to be called the Buddy Holly glasses.
  • Charles Hardin Holley had changed his surname from Holley to Holly after his surname was misspelled in his contract with Decca Records.
  • Buddy's signature guitar was the Fender Stratocaster, which cost around $250. He reportedly owned four or five guitars.
  • The Beatles were so named to mirror Buddy's band, The Crickets.
  • Rolling Stones Magazine's 100 Greatest Artists list has Buddy Holly at rank 13.
    We would love your help! If you have a photo of Buddy Holly, either of them alone or a selfie that you would be happy to share, please send it to hello@kidadl.com.
    If you have knowledge or information that you think would help us improve this article, please contact us.

Buddy Holly Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Charles Hardin Holley

Date of Birth

1936-09-07

Date of Death

1959-02-03

Nationality

American

Place of Birth

Lubbock

Height

180 cm

Child Star?

No

Occupation

Singer, Musician, Songwriter

Education

Lubbock High School

Net Worth

1000000

Partner

María Elena Holly

Parents

Ella Pauline Drake Holley, Lawrence Odell

Siblings

Larry Holley, Travis Holley, Patricia Lou Holley-Kaiter
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

Sources

en.wikipedia.orgaskinglot.comwww.gemtracks.comheirsandsuccesses.comwww.independent.co.uken.wikipedia.orgen.wikipedia.orgci.lubbock.tx.uswww.rockhall.com

See All

Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction