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<Nanci Griffith , Once in a very blue moon>

One of my favorite Nanci Griffith recordings is her singing "Well..All Right" with The Crickets. It is an old Buddy Holly song and Nanci Griffith was and still is a huge fan of his music. It is part of a CD called Not Fade Away (Remembering Buddy Holly) that was made in the mid 1990's. She performs with original Crickets Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis.

The CD is a great tribute to Holly. One of the highlights is a special recording of Peggy Sue Got Married. It features Buddy's original vocal backed by the original Hollies. It was the first time in almost 3 decades that Graham Nash performed with the Hollies. Tony Hicks has a lead guitar that shoots this song full of energy.

Some other memorable tracks inclued Los Lobos doing Midnight Shift, The Band and The Crickets doing the title track, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kevin Montgomery doing Wishing (a song Montgomery's father Bob cowrote with Buddy Holly while they were in high school), The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band doing Maybe Baby, Steve Earl and Marty Stewart doing Crying, Waiting, hoping, and a heartfelt rendition of Learning the Game by Waylon Jennings with some help from Mark Knopfler.

Til his dying day, Jennings frequently thought about his good friend Buddy. Holly produced the first recordings he ever made and greatly encouraged him to believe in himself. Waylon was Holly's base player on that ill fated Winter tour. He was supposed to get on the plane with Holly, but gave up his seat to the Big Bopper. One of life's mystical happenings. His career and life could have been over before it ever really began.

Around the time of the 40th anniversary of the plane crash, VH1 did a great program on Holly and those who were left behind. Jennings talked about someone coming backstage to meet him at one of his later concerts. This young man told him "you were on tour with my daddy". When Waylon asked him who his daddy was the young man said J P Richardson. The Big Bopper's wife was pregnant with this son during the tour. So through a strange act of fate, father and son never got to meet, although Jennings told the man that his daddy often talked about how much he was looking forward to his wife giving birth in the coming months. It was very moving hearing Jennings who became such an enormous star talk about the feeling of loss he still felt many decades after the fact. He said in a real sense Don McLean's line about "the day the music died" was right on the money.

Sorry for the diversion Art, but is seems like this kind of story ties into many of the things you have talked about over the years. When it comes to Buddy Holly, I am always amazed at the sheer volume of great music he made and how innovative he was. It still boggles my mind to realize that he was only 22 when he died. He has had such a profound influence on so many musicians of quite varied styles. Holly's wife was also pregnant during the tour, but sadly she lost the baby in all of her grief.

In the booklet that accompanies the CD, Nanci Griffith says that "Buddy Holly is such a hero of mine. I always wanted to grow up and be a Cricket. Nobody played stratocaster like Buddy or Sunny Curtis. They had just enough West Texas dirt underneath their fingernails. There was something about the way they played that made it special."

FWIW, I picture heaven as a place where I can hear Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke and Elvis performing any time that I want to hear them for hours at a time. All three of them were tremendous talents that our world lost far too soon.

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