Classic Albums: The Crickets - The `Chirping' Crickets

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Classic Albums: The Crickets - The `Chirping' Crickets

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Review

Sitting in his garage, grinning broadly under a sailor’s cap, Jerry “JI” Allison reminisces engagingly, as he has so often before, about the days playing with his friend Buddy Holly in the Crickets, laying down the template for rock ’n’ roll.

As drummer, Allison was crucial: interviewees here agree it was the special way he locked in with Holly’s guitar that forged a sound that inspired the Beatles, the Stones and any number of others: the Crickets were effectively the first rock group.

A revealing moment comes when Allison demonstrates the Bo Diddley “hambone” beat he adapted for Not Fade Away (played in the studio, famously, on cardboard boxes) with a casual little one-handed slap of his thigh. Other highlights include early versions of Maybe Baby and That’ll Be the Day that sound awful. They fixed them.

Summary

The making of the debut album by the Crickets, and the only one featuring Buddy Holly released during his tragically brief career, which ended with his accidental death aged 22. It survives as the purest testament to his skill and diversity as a singer, a pioneering guitar player and not least as a songwriter in an age when few of his peers composed their own material. This documentary celebrates its success and assesses its influence. Contributors include former band member Jerry Allison, singer Cliff Richard and writers John Beecher and Frank Blanas.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Jerry Allison
Contributor John Beecher
Contributor Frank Blanas
Contributor Cliff Richard
Director George Scott
Producer Nick de Grunwald
Producer Celia Moore
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Music Education