Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly

Overview

Philip Norman uses his unique skills to recreate the impetuous yet shy, modest yet steely willed Texan who was his first musical hero. He has gained exclusive access to an extraordinary archive of never-before-seen letters, contracts, and personal memorabilia, which dispel the many mysteries still lingering around Buddy's name and allow the reader to share some of the most intimate moments in his short but crowded life. Buddy's family and close friends have also spoken frankly about him - notably his widow, Maria...
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Overview

Philip Norman uses his unique skills to recreate the impetuous yet shy, modest yet steely willed Texan who was his first musical hero. He has gained exclusive access to an extraordinary archive of never-before-seen letters, contracts, and personal memorabilia, which dispel the many mysteries still lingering around Buddy's name and allow the reader to share some of the most intimate moments in his short but crowded life. Buddy's family and close friends have also spoken frankly about him - notably his widow, Maria Elena, giving her first in-depth interview in more than twenty years. Commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of Buddy's birth, Rave On is a revealing, sometimes shocking, but always warmly affectionate portrait of America's mythical rock'n'roll era and its brightest and most enduring star.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the annals of rock and roll, singer and songwriter Buddy Holly remains an elusive legend. He died in a plane crash in 1959, at the age of 22, becoming one of the first rock stars to perish in a tragic, now romanticized, end. Though Holly inspired a Hollywood biopic in the late 1970s, in the prologue to this biography British writer Norman (Shout!) laments the general lack of knowledge about this influential Texas-born musician. Norman's attempt at setting the Holly story straight is a well-researched volume in which Holly comes across as a talented, fun-loving guy who carried the torch for a high-school sweetheart with strong religious convictions; who blindly signed over much of his future income to Norman Perry, his smarmy producer and manager; and who endured grueling concert tours of the U.S. and Britain. The text doubles as a solid history of the early days of rock, and it particularly sparkles when Norman recounts, from personal experience, the British perspective on American music of the 1950s. Despite the author's skill, however, Holly appears to have been too wholesome a character, with too attenuated a life, to keep the text consistently absorbing. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Buddy Holly is arguably the most influential figure in rock 'n' roll. His string of hits with the Crickets remains fresh after 40 years, and his bespectacled, nerdy appearance proved that you didn't need to be good-looking to rock. But his most lasting legacy was the effect his 1958 tour had on a generation of British musicians, who would recycle what they heard into a phenomenon that would change the entertainment industry and the world. Holly's tragically brief life has been chronicled in words, film, and song, but Norman (Elton John, LJ 2/1/92) does an excellent job of separating the man from the legend. All good legends need a villain, and manager/producer Norman Petty more than fits the bill. His withholding royalties and appropriate songwriting credits led to the financial woes that forced Holly on the "Winter Dance Party" tour that resulted in his death. Recommended for all public libraries.Dan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Fed., Curwensville, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684800820
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 8/6/1996
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Norman is a journalist and a novelist who in 1968 was assigned to cover the Beatles' own business utopia, Apple Corps, from the inside. He is the author of Rave On: The Biography of Buddy Holly and many other books.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2002

    Raining In My Heart

    The headline sums up my feelings, especially as a fan,when I came to the end of the book. Buddy had a full but young life and it was a very sad end to a life which has remained to us, everlasting. A truly great emotional read, written by a true fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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