It would be the mid 80’s at a party and we were all in the hallway of an overcrowded Glasgow tenement flat. It was the usual kind of bash: dump your carry-out beside the curled up sandwiches on the kitchen table, chuck your coat in the bedroom and make sure no one is making out between the duvet and the clothes mountain. I’d got as far as the lobby when one of my best friends accosted me. He’d been there since things had started and had got a head start on the Stella. ‘Rick,’ he shouted across the assembled crew, ‘Who’s it to be?’ I looked quizzical, not recalling any preceding debate, but wise enough to recognise that a few cans down my pal was in no mood for nuance. His take on life had always verged on religious and political certainty over any hint of compromise or moderation. ‘Between?’...I ventured cautiously. He got louder, ‘Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly? (threatening pause) Who’s it to be?‘ At this point my mind raced over the songs we’d heard together, the gigs we’d been at and the late night rambles we’d enjoyed and I took a leap of faith feeling his increasing physical presence bearing down on me. ‘Chuck Berry…it’s definitely Chuck.’ He smiled. ‘Just as well for you, I was going to throw you into that press if you’d got it wrong.’
I am slightly exaggerating the malevolence here (he was and remains one of my best buddies) but not the vehemence of the argument.

Today I find myself on a quiet street not a million miles from that house party recalling the story and realising it’s sixty five years since Buddy Holly left this world on the night the music died. My pal would probably admit now that the argument is moot given what we know about the life, songs and legacy of both artists. However I find myself feeling slightly guilty over my certainty that one artist was once deemed more important in my youthful opinion.

It’s impossible to imagine how modern pop music would have come about had it not been for Buddy Holly and, as ever, it all started with country music and Music City before, like so many others, he took on board all the music he was hearing and brought it into the mix. All this before he even reached the age of twenty three. That we still value his songs as essential listening says everything you need to know about Buddy Holly. We’ll play some tracks in tribute this week on Another Country.

We’ll also celebrate to first time Grammy winners who are friends of the show. We have championed the music of Lainey Wilson, Brandy Clark and Allison Russell on the show and we are delighted that all three can put a statuette on their respective recording consoles this week after Sunday’s big US music award show. You can hear some worthy winning songs too on the show. Listen out too for future winners Stephanie Lambring, Caitlyn Smith and The Secret Sisters. It’s a packed show full of great music and stories and it can be heard from five past eight this Tuesday evening on BBC Radio Scotland or on BBC Sounds. Join me if yoiu can.