Buddy Holly Timeline: 1936 to 1956

September 7,
Charles Hardin Holley is born to Ella and Lawrence Odell "L.O." Holley on Labor Day at the Holley's Sixth Street home in Lubbock.

April 19,
Buddy attends the birthday party of a four-year-old girl, and the event is reported in a Lubbock newspaper article, which states "Buddy Holley sang a song for the occasion."

Five-year-old Buddy enters a talent contest along with his older brothers Larry and Travis. Though his brothers grease his toy violin to keep him from interrupting their performance, Buddy's singing Down the River Of Memories wins him the $5 first-place prize.

Buddy's first recording is My Two-Timin' Woman, a Hank Snow song, which he sings into a wire recorder.

Buddy and Bob Montgomery make a home recording of Take These Shackles From My Heart and I'll Just Pretend. The following year they make a home recording of Bill Monroe's Footprints In The Snow.

KDAV radio begins broadcasting what is considered the first all-country music format in the United States. The Sunday Party aired by Hipockets Duncan, a disc jockey and talent scout, gives local musicians an opportunity to perform live. Buddy teams with Jack Neal to form the duo Buddy and Jack, and their show is broadcast live from KDAV during The Sunday Party.

November At KDAV, Buddy and Jack record an acetate of I Hear the Lord Callin' For Me, and I Saw The Moon Cry Last Night.

Jack Neal marries, and Buddy teams up with Bob Montgomery to form Buddy and Bob who advertise themselves as Western and Bop performers. The Buddy and Jack Show is replaced by the Buddy and Bob Show on The Sunday Party. Over the next few years, Buddy is a member of several different bands and performs at schools, teen parties, church events, and live remote broadcasts for businesses owned by KDAV's advertisers.

Buddy, joined at various times by Bob Montgomery, Sonny Curtis, Larry Welborn, Don Guess and/or J. I. Allison, travels to Nesman Recording Studio in Wichita Falls to record a number of songs including: Flower Of My Heart, Door To My Heart, Soft Place In My Heart, Gotta Get You Near Me Blues, I Gambled My Heart, Down The Line, You And I Are Through, Baby Let's Play House, and Queen Of The Ballroom.

February 19 Buddy, Bob Montgomery, and Larry Welborn perform Flower Of My Heart, a song written by Bob, for a contest at Lubbock High School. The song wins the competition and is chosen as the 1954 Senior Class Song.

February 13
Buddy and Bob Montgomery open for Elvis Presley at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock.

October 14 At the Fair Park Coliseum, Buddy, Bob Montgomery, and Larry Welborn perform in a show featuring Bill Haley and The Comets and Jimmy Rodgers Snow. Eddie Crandall, a Nashville agent for country singer Marty Robbins, watches their performance.

October 15 Buddy, Bob Montgomery, and Larry Welborn open for Elvis at the Fair Park Coliseum.

October 28 Buddy, Bob Montgomery, and Larry Welborn open for headliner Marty Robbins at the Fair Park Coliseum. Eddie Crandall again watches Buddy's performance.

December 2-3 Eddie Crandall writes to "Pappy" Dave Stone, KDAV Station Manager, asking for exclusive rights to help Buddy obtain a recording contract. Crandall sends Stone a telegram asking that Buddy and his group send him a recording of four original songs.

December 7 At Nesman Recording Studio in Wichita Falls, Buddy, Don Guess and J.I. Allison record Love Me, Don't Come Back Knockin', Moonlight Baby, and I Guess I Was Just A Fool which are submitted on acetate to Decca.

January 23-25
Buddy negotiates a recording contract with Decca and a three-year songwriter's contract with Cedarwood Publishing Company. Throughout 1956, between recording sessions with Decca and practicing with his band, Buddy polishes his act and gains much needed experience performing for touring shows, dances, and clubs around Lubbock and West Texas. His encounter with Decca will teach him a lot about the recording industry, and by 1957, he begins to develop a distinctive style and vision regarding the direction he wants his career to take.

January 26 Buddy, Sonny Curtis, and Don Guess begin their first recording sessions for Decca at (Owen) Bradley's Barn in Nashville under the name Buddy and The Two Tones. They record Love Me, Don't Come Back Knocking, Midnight Shift, and Blue Days Black Nights.

February 8 Buddy receives Decca's contract from Jim Denny of Cedarwood Publishing. Buddy's name has been misspelled, inadvertently dropping the 'e' in Holley. As a result, Buddy adopts the Holly spelling for his last name.

April 16 Decca releases the Buddy Holly single Blue Days Black Nights and Love Me.

April 21 Billboard reviews Love Me: "If the public will take more than one Presley or Perkins, this one stands a chance."

May 6-10 Buddy joins Faron Young's Grand Ole Opry Show on its Oklahoma tour. Other performers included Ray Price, Carl Perkins, Tommy Collins, Jimmy & Johnny, Tom Pritchard, Red Sovine, and Joe Vincent.

July 2 The Buddy Holly single, Blue Days Black Nights/Love Me is released in England on the Brunswick label.

July 22 Buddy Holly, Sonny Curtis, Don Guess, and J.I. Allison are in Nashville for the second Decca recording session at Bradley's Barn. The song list from the session includes I'm Changing All Those Changes, Girl On My Mind, Rock Around With Ollie Vee, Ting-A-Ling, and That'll Be The Day.

November 15 Buddy is in Nashville for the third and final recording session with Decca at Bradley's Barn. Rock Around With Ollie Vee, Modern Don Juan, and You Are My One Desire are recorded.

December 24 Decca releases Buddy's single, Modern Don Juan and You Are My One Desire.