by Robert Wilkinson
If you don’t know who Sonny Curtis is, well, he was in the Crickets, Buddy Holly’s backing band. He's also one fantastic songwriter!
It's also the birthday of the fantastic Billy Joel, but I'm saving his birthday tribute for tomorrow's Saturday Night Attitude Dance. For now, let's celebrate the other birthday boy! I don’t have time to create a full bio this year, so I’ll let the music of the great Sonny Curtis (May 9, 1937) speak for itself!
Here’s the song he wrote to answer the errors in the movie “The Buddy Holly Story.” It tells the story of West Texas, Elvis, and how Buddy and the Crickets came to be. For your enjoyment, “The Real Buddy Holly Story”
From the 1963 movie, “Just For Fun,” the original Crickets doing a performance of “My Little Girl”
He’s also the writer of one of the most covered songs in rock and roll, “I Fought The Law.” Here’s the most famous version, done in 1966 by the West Texas group the Bobby Fuller Four, of the rocking “I Fought The Law”
Here’s the original studio version by the Crickets in 1959 of “I Fought The Law”
In a final nod to this rock and roll classic, here are five great covers of this tune! First, we feature the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, in 2009, in a live performance of “I Fought The Law.”
Here’s the Clash live doing “I Fought The Law.”
We now go to none other than the Grateful Dead doing their unique audio-only version of “I Fought The Law.”
Here’s Bryan Adams live doing “I Fought the Law”
We’ll finish this tribute to the song with Green Day in a live 2006 performance in Milan doing “I Fought The Law.”
From the same 2010 show linked above, here’s Sonny doing a song he wrote made famous by the Everly Brothers, “Walk Right Back.”
From 1980, Waylon Jennings and the Crickets doing a medley of Buddy Holly tunes!
“Well All Right,” “It’s So Easy,” and “Peggy Sue.” (Waylon was Buddy’s bass player on the fated tour where the plane went down in Clear Lake, Iowa.) Who was and who wasn't on the plane is the stuff of legends! You can find out more by going to Tommy Allsup tells of the coin flip with Ritchie Valens.
Sonny also wrote the theme song for the Mary Tyler Moore show, called “Love Is All Around.” Here’s Sonny in a short clip from 2009 doing a live performance of “Love Is All Around”
Here’s the 1970 studio original by Sonny doing “Love Is All Around”
Here’s the original Crickets in an interview and a performance of “More Than I Can Say”
An early single written and performed by Sonny called “A Pretty Girl”
For our closer, here’s Sonny early on doing “Willa May Jones”
If you want to know more about this amazing West Texas talent who hung with Buddy and was the reason the Crickets continued after his death, here’s the The Sonny Curtis website.
Thanks for giving us such great tunes over the years, Sonny! Glad you blasted out of West Texas and gave the world a legend! May you have many more performances and keep Texas music alive!!
Copyright © 2014 Robert Wilkinson