"Not Fade Away": The Geographic Dimensions of Buddy Holly's Meteoric Career
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The career of native Texan Buddy Holly is often described as "meteoric." Within 18 months of his first hit, "That'll be the Day," which charted on the Billboard Top 40 list in 1957, Holly released seven other songs that made the Billboard Top 40. He and his band toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, while many contemporaries, such as Elvis Presley, did not tour much, if at all, outside of the United States. Holly quickly established himself as a rock and roll pioneer before his untimely death in an airplane crash on February 3, 1959, which on tour in the American Midwest. Holly was only 22 years old when he perished on the ill-fated flight along with fellow pop starts Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.