Various Artists: Not Fade Away - Remembering Buddy Holly
In his 1972 song "American Pie", Don McLean claimed that the music died when
Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, on February
3rd 1959. This tribute album at least indicates strongly that McLean was
wrong. The truth is of course that Holly is remembered as a true rock original,
and that his influence keeps on showing up. For the last 10 years this has been
most notable among country artists, making it natural that Not Fade Away
has been assembled in Nashville. Luckily it is Nashville's more credible
artists that have been let loose, like the Mavericks, the Tractors,
Mary Chapin Carpenter, Waylon Jennings, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marty Stuart,
and Steve Earle, together with Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, Todd Snider,
The Band, and Los Lobos.
The result is very nice, except for the opening cut where The Hollies commit a
"Hank Jr.", dubbing in Holly himself in a blown-up version of "Peggy Sue". Yuch! Waylon Jennings, Holly's bassplayer on the fatal tour (he didn't get a seat
in the plane that crashed), ends the record with a solemn version of
"Learning the Game" with Mark Knopfler on guitar.
The music has definitely passed the test of time. The same can't be said about
The Band performs the song "Not Fade Away" together with the two surviving Crickets Joe B. Mauldin on bass and Jerry Allison on drums. Recorded at Levon's studio in Woodstock with Levon on lead vocals and Rick on harmony and co-produced by Levon Helm.
The Band, along with the two Crickets, also appeared on part two of the Nashville Network's Buddy Holly tribute TV show. Filmed in Woodstock, this was your basic lope through "Not Fade Away", with Levon on lead vocals and Rick on harmony. With three drummers Randy didn't have much to do, and the bass Cricket looked a little frightened (who wouldn't, up there with Danko.) Garth and Rick Bell got in a few chops and Levon's vocals were kind of like those on "Willie and the Hand Jive."
Sound samples from the album can be found at Decca's WWW page.
Various Artists - Not Fade Away, Remembering Buddy Holly - 1996 - UNI/MCA 11260