Buddy Holly Timeline: 1957 January 9 (through January 23)
Buddy, Don Guess, and Sonny Curtis join the Hank Thompson tour. Other artists on the tour include Wanda Jackson, Mitchell Torek, Hank Locklin, Cowboy Copas, George Jones, and Justin Tubb.
Decca sends Buddy a letter informing him that his renewal option is not being exercised and his contract will expire on January 26, 1957.
Buddy travels to the Norman Petty Studio in Clovis, New Mexico and records I'm Looking For Someone To Love and the hit version of That'll Be The Day. Buddy sings and plays lead guitar; Larry Welborn plays bass; J.I. Allison plays drums; and Niki Sullivan, Gary Tollett and Ramona Tollett sing background vocals on That'll Be The Day.
Buddy is restricted from recording any of the songs that were done under his contract with Decca. A name is needed in order to release the new version of That'll Be The Day. J.I. Allison searches through an encyclopedia under "Insects" in order to find a name for the band. They consider briefly, then discard "The Beetles" before selecting "The Crickets". Over the next month, the band members of The Crickets come together: Buddy Holly, vocals and lead guitar; J.I. Allison, drums; Joe B. Mauldin, bass; and Niki Sullivan, rhythm guitar. (Niki will leave the band in December at the end of the Biggest Show of Stars for 1957.)
Last Night and a cha-cha version of Maybe Baby are recorded in Clovis.
The Crickets sign a contract with Bob Thiele in which Coral, a subsidiary of Decca, agrees to purchase masters for That'll Be The Day and I'm Looking For Someone To Love. This will be the working contract for The Crickets, and their songs will be released under the Brunswick label.
Mailman Bring Me No More Blues and Words Of Love are recorded in Clovis, as Buddy makes his first attempt at overdubbing.
Buddy signs an agreement with Bob Thiele for Coral to sell the masters of Words Of Love and Mailman Bring Me No More Blues. There are two separate recording contracts involving Buddy Holly. The first contract is for records issued under The Crickets' name. These records appear on the Brunswick label. The second contract is for records issued under the Buddy Holly name. These records appear on the Coral label.
Mercury Records releases The Diamonds recording of Words Of Love written by Buddy Holly.
Brunswick releases The Crickets' single, That'll Be The Day/I'm Looking For Someone To Love.
Not Fade Away and Everyday are recorded in Clovis. Instrumentation includes use of a cardboard box, knee slaps, and a celeste.
Coral releases the Buddy Holly single, Words Of Love/Mailman Bring Me No More Blues.
Peggy Sue, Oh Boy, Listen To Me, and I'm Gonna Love You Too are recorded in Clovis.
Buddy Holly and The Crickets are billed on the front page of the Carlsbad Current Argus newspaper under the headline: "Buddy Holly and his popular rock 'n roll band from Lubbock". They perform at the Elks Ballroom on July 13th.
It's Too Late and Send Me Some Lovin' are recorded in Clovis.
From Bob Thiele, Buddy learns That'll Be The Day has sold 50,000 records, and an additional 28,000 have been pressed. That evening, Buddy goes to see Little Richard perform at Lubbock's Cotton Club.
Bob Thiele sends a registered letter to inform The Crickets that Coral will renew their recording contract.
Buddy signs contracts for The Crickets to perform during the month of August at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C.; the Royal Theater in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Apollo Theater in New York City.
Buddy signs a contract for a 67-day tour package beginning in September.
August 2 (through August 8)
Buddy Holly and The Crickets begin their first major tour at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. where That'll Be The Day is number two on the charts. Other acts featured on the tour include Clyde McPhatter, The Cadillacs, Edna McGriff, Otis Rush, Lee Andrews & The Hearts, and Oscar & Oscar.
August 9 (through August 16)
Buddy Holly and The Crickets perform at the Royal Theater in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Decca version of That'll Be The Day with Rock Around With Ollie Vee is released, and sales are poor. The song on the Brunswick label, however, is listed as No. 26 in Cash Box's Top 60 chart and is listed as an R&B Sure Shot.
August 16 (through August 22)
Buddy Holly and The Crickets perform at the Apollo Theater in New York City.
Buddy Holly and The Crickets perform That'll Be The Day on Dick Clark's American Bandstand in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Buddy Holly and The Crickets appear on the Ted Steele Show in New York City.
August 30 (through September 8)
The Alan Freed Holiday Show at the Paramount Theater in New York features Buddy Holly and The Crickets. Other performers included Little Richard, The Del Vikings, The Diamonds, Mickey & Sylvia, The Moonglows, The Five Keys, Larry Williams, and King Curtis.
September 9 (through November 24)
Buddy Holly and The Crickets join the Biggest Show of Stars for 1957 in Norfolk, Virginia. The tour is already in progress and will travel throughout the United States and Canada over the next three months. Other artists include: Paul Williams, Chuck Berry, Paul Anka, The Drifters, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, Laverne Baker, the Everly Brothers, Jimmie Bowen, Clyde McPhatter, The Spaniels, Johnnie and Joe, Tommy Brown, Bobettes, and Sam "The Man" Taylor.
Coral in England releases The Crickets single That'll Be The Day/I'm Looking For Someone To Love.
Coral releases the Buddy Holly single Peggy Sue/Everyday.
Cash Box features a cover photograph of Buddy Holly and The Crickets pointing to a circled date of October 1, 1957. That'll Be The Day is expected to pass the one million mark in sales on this date. Two days later Billboard lists That'll Be The Day as the No. 1 Best Seller in Stores.
September 23 (through September 29)
While waiting for the tour Biggest Show of Stars for 1957 to wind its way through the Southern states without them, Buddy, J.I., Joe B. and Niki visit their families in Lubbock. They then meet Norman Petty at Tinker Air Force Base near Oklahoma City where they record four songs: An Empty Cup, Rock Me My Baby, You've Got Love, and Maybe Baby.
Buddy Holly and The Crickets are featured in the British magazine the New Musical Express, which states: "If someone asks you where the hit records come from these days, you won't be far wrong if you reply Deep In The Heart Of Texas."
Brunswick releases The Crickets' single, Oh Boy/Not Fade Away.
Coral in England releases Peggy Sue/Everyday.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal carries an article under the headline "Lubbock Combo on Network Show Next Sunday". This article refers to a scheduled appearance by Buddy Holly and The Crickets on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Brunswick releases the album, The Chirping Crickets with songs, That'll Be The Day, Oh Boy, Not Fade Away, You've Got Love, Maybe Baby, It's Too Late, Tell Me How, I'm Looking For Someone To Love, An Empty Cup, Send Me Some Lovin', Last Night, and Rock Me My Baby.
Sid Varnes, Cash Box's editor-in-chief, sends a telegram to The Crickets informing them that the Juke Box Operators of America have voted them "Most Promising Vocal Group of 1957".
Buddy Holly and The Crickets perform That'll Be The Day and Peggy Sue on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan calls Buddy back on stage after the second song for an impromptu interview and to solicit another "very nice hand for these Texas youngsters."
Buddy Holly and The Crickets return to Lubbock. Niki Sullivan leaves the group, citing the harsh tour schedule as his reason. Norman Petty signs contracts for Buddy Holly and The Crickets to participate in three tours, including the Paramount Theater in New York, the America's Greatest Teenage Recording Stars, and a short Florida tour.
December 17 and 19
Little Baby, Look At Me, and (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care are recorded in Clovis.
Coral in England releases Oh Boy/Not Fade Away.
December 23 (through January 5)
Buddy Holly and The Crickets are billed separately during the 12-day Alan Freed's Christmas Jubilee Show (also billed as the Holiday of Stars) at the Paramount Theater in New York City. The show is headlined by Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Everly Brothers.