His songs have been covered by the Stones, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Linda Ronstadt, John Mellencamp, John Denver, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and many others. Rock critic Jonathan Cott called him "the main inspiration for the Beatles". He's listed in "We Didn't Start the Fire," right before "Ben Hur" and space monkey. Bob Dylan said about him, "I carry that other time around with me. ... [He's] just as valid to me today as then." His death inspired Don McLean to sing "American Pie."

We're talking, of course, about the immortal Buddy Holly, the nerdy kid in glasses who hiccuped his way into the Top Forty before dying in a plane crash, along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper on February 3, 1959, in Clear Lake, Iowa. That winter night, the day the music died, was forty years ago, so it's only appropriate that we take the time to celebrate him in a trivia quiz.


Warm-up: For questions 1 to 9, identify the following Buddy Holly songs from these lyrical snippets:

1. A little bit of lovin' makes everything right.

2. People tell me love's for fools, So here I go breaking all of the rules.

3. Love like yours will surely come my way.

4. When Cupid shot his dart, he shot it at your heart, So if we ever part then I'll leave you.

5. A lonely heart grows cold and old.

6. Oh how my heart yearns for you.

7. Those foolish kids can't be ready for the love that comes their way.

8. Tell me not to be lonely, tell me you love me only.

9. Stayin' at home, waitin' for you, just won't get it 'cause you say we're through.

10. Identify this Buddy Holly song, which was covered by the Beatles:


11. A December, 1980, issue of Newsweek had a cover story entitled "The Day the Music Died." Who was on the cover?

12. What two sixties rock and roll bands took their names from Buddy Holly and his band?

13. What 1998 low-budget arthouse movie featured a scruffed-up Buddy Holly look-alike kickin' butt on his way to "Lost Vegas"?

14. Who wrote the play "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," which, having completed gigs in the U.S. and U.K., is currently on tour internationally?

15. What famous drummer died on September 8, 1978, hours after attending the premiere the motion picture "The Buddy Holly Story"?

16. Who said, about the origins of his own band, "We met for the first time ... in Larry's kitchen, which was about as big as the drum kit IN the kitchen. We all wanted to be in a rock and roll band ... I remember getting out old Buddy Holly and Rolling Stones records and thinking, 'We should make music like 'Not Fade Away' and 'Paint It Black.'"? Hint: the band is still around, making hit records today.

17. Buddy Holly's heroine Peggy Sue is cited by name in at least five other oldies. Name three.

18. Buddy Holly was born Charles Hardin Holley. Buddy was (and is) a common nickname. Why was the "e" dropped from his last name?

19. What film, which takes its name from a Holly song, features David Essex as a young rock-and-roller in the 1950's?

20. In what (1994) movie restaurant does Uma Thurman order a five-dollar milk shake from a Buddy Holly-look-a-like waiter?

21. What 1986 film, which also takes its title from a Buddy Holly song, features Kathleen Turner time-traveling back to her senior year in high school?

22. In a "Simpsons" episode, Homer becomes the manager of an up-and-coming country singer named Lurleen, even hiring a studio for her first recording. Complete this quotation from the sound engineer: "This studio has a lot of history. Buddy Holly stood on this spot in 1958 and said: ________."

23. What Texas town plans to open (in September, 1999) a permanent Buddy Holly exhibit, partially financed through a $100,000 donation by a local cotton exporter?

24. What is Roger Peterson's connection to Buddy Holly?

25. Part of the great tragedy of the loss of Buddy Holly was that he was so young when he died --- only 22. Yet he had already accumulated, in the span of a year and a half, eight Top Forty hits. And what music! It was music that was new, innovative, and it only hints at the ground Buddy Holly might have broken had he lived.

Which TWO of the following are NOT innovations in music spearheaded by BH?

a) First to use lead guitar/rhythm guitar/bass/drums arrangement for a band.

b) First rocker to wear glasses on stage.

c) First to use strings on a rock record.

d) First to code-switch between English and another language in a rock song.

e) First to have simultaneous (and successful) solo and group recording careers.

f) First white rocker to rely mostly on material he wrote himself.

g) First to popularize the Fender Stratocaster.

h) First rocker to be both singer and lead guitarist.

i) First musician to (purposely) use feedback and distortion in a record.

j) First to overdub (double-track) his own voice.

For answers click here.


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