Sound of Texas Music – A Look Into Buddy Holly & Roy Orbison
By: Ben Carpenter, Contributor
“My music had roots which I’d dug up from my own childhood, musical roots buried in the darkest soil. “ – Ray Charles
I can’t think of a time when music was a nuisance. Even when I was a child, I couldn’t go a day without listening to it. But it wasn’t just me that loved music…Everyone loves music. I think of how much it has affected me, how much I enjoy it, and how important it is to me. Ray Charles’ quote resonates inside of my soul. Music not only comes from influence, it comes from cultural roots.
Texas music has its own sound, its own expression, and even its own genre. Some of the past century’s most talented musical artists have come from Texas, and these individuals are worth writing about.
Call it old school if you want, but Buddy Holly was a pioneer in Rock and Roll.
Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas on September 7th, 1936. Buddy was raised in a musical family. His mother sang, his brothers played several instruments, but they didn’t have what Buddy had.
Buddy had that musical ear that modern-day artists dream of having. He started a few country music groups when he was younger, but the day he heard Elvis Presley was the day his whole world changed. His heart was not in the softness of country, or the warmth of blues, but in the explosion of Rock N’ Roll.
The producers in Nashville tried to mold Buddy into the predictable country artist of their day; Buddy couldn’t do it. The label did not renew their contract, but Buddy didn’t give up. Like most Texans, Buddy was stubborn, and his stubbornness paid off.
Buddy & the Crickets continued Presley’s work by releasing the rock n’ roll hit “That’ll Be the Day” in 1957. Though Buddy was the genius behind the music, the Crickets completed his sound. It wasn’t Buddy with just a couple of background musicians; it was Buddy with people who shared the same dream and the same sound.
The Rolling Stones rated Buddy 13th among “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” Buddy’s influence extends from The Beatles to Elvis Costello. His music cannot be forgotten, and his influence will be heard forever.
“Everybody knows that nobody sings like Roy Orbison.” – Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen’s quote states what most music aficionados believe: Roy Orbison was one of a kind. Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas on April 23rd, 1936. His parents gave Roy a guitar for his sixth birthday, which started his musical ingenuity. He took to the guitar with ease, learning how to play from his father and his uncle.
Orbison started his first band, “The Wink Westerners,” when he was 13. A few years later, the band wrote the song “Ooby Dooby,” which shot up the charts. From then on, Orbison began to write hit after hit. Songs such as “Only The Lonely” and “Crying” remained in the top 40’s list, and Orbison’s voice was getting attention.
After Orbison had written one of his greatest hits “Oh Pretty Women,” he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He then joined “The Traveling Wilburys,” a group consisting of Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne, that became a huge success.
Roy Orbison had a voice that made other artists feel intimidated. His style was unique, his writing was brilliant, and his songs were hits.
These individuals were passionate in the music they wrote. Though they were influenced by various artists from around the world, their music was crafted by the culture they were raised in, Texas culture.
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