Hard Rock International When the plane carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper…
- Posted on Sep 30th 2010 3:30PM by Pat Pemberton
'Everyday,' Buddy Holly
Even your geekiest rock aficionados probably don't know who Vi Petty is. But a piece of music she created in 1957 secured her place in the annals of rock lore. It's her dreamy, carnival-like celeste playing, after all, that kicks off 'Everyday,' the Buddy Holly song used in this AT&T ad for the Blackberry Torch.
As the commercial begins, we see people arriving to work in bumper cars and roller coasters, setting up the ad's premise: Work can be fun -- with a Blackberry. Petty's chirpy celeste fits right in with the fun theme.
While Holly was a rock pioneer known for rollicking hits, 'Everyday' was a soft, gentle tune, with writing credits given to both "Charles Hardin" (aka Holly) and Petty's husband, Norman Petty. That shared credit would become a point of contention for Holly, but we'll get to that in a minute.
When Holly entered Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, N.M., a year before this song's release, the Pettys had already achieved success in music as two-thirds of the Norman Petty Trio. After their recording of 'Mood Indigo' was a hit in 1956, they expanded Norman's studio, which would record artists like Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings.
After getting rejected by Decca Records, Holly decided to visit Petty's studio for a career boost. And Petty came through, not only helping Buddy Holly and the Crickets record (he and his wife actually performed on several tunes) but also providing key contacts and acting as producer and manager.
In May of 1957 -- the same month the band's first hit, 'That'll Be the Day' was released -- they worked on 'Everyday.' At Norman's suggestion, his wife added the celeste, an instrument that looks like a small upright piano and sounds a little like a glockenspiel. (It was most famously used in Tchaikovsky's 'Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy' from 'The Nutcracker.') It was also Norman Petty's idea to have drummer Jerry Allison slap the song's beat on his knees instead of on a drum kit.
The song would eventually be released as a B-side to the smash hit 'Peggy Sue,' but 'Everyday' would become memorable as well, covered by numerous artists through the years.
While Norman Petty doubtlessly helped springboard Holly's career, members of the band accused him of claiming too much of the royalties, earning significantly more than Holly. Fed up, Holly fired Petty as manager and pursued litigation against him. During that time, Holly -- then split from the Crickets as well -- found himself strapped for cash and expecting a child. So he decided to earn some needed money by signing on to the Winter Dance Party package tour of the Midwest.
And when he boarded a small plane on Feb. 3, 1959, his own rollercoaster ride was headed for a tragic halt.