The City of Lubbock today opened the childhood home of Jerry Allison as a museum, moved to the grounds of the Buddy Holly Center in the heart of the Panhandle city.
It was in the living room of that house that Holly and Allison wrote the classic rock and roll song 'That'll be the Day' on a coffee table in June of 1956, when both were 19.
Allison recalled today that the inspiration for the song that John Lennon once called the single most influential piece of music in the history of rock and roll was John Wayne's catch phrase in 'The Searchers' which was in theaters that summer.
"We all went to see that movie, and when they told me, you should write a song, I replied, 'yeah, that'll be the day,' trying to sound like John Wayne. Then Allison broke into song, singing the famous riff, 'that'll be the day...'"
Tomorrow would have been Holly's 77th birthday. He was, of course, killed in a plane crash in Iowa in February of 1959, but Allison and fellow Crickets Sonny Curtis and Joe P. Mauldin were on hand for today's dedication.
"That'll be the Day" was recorded in the Norman Petty studios in Clovis New Mexico in early 1957 and was released later that year by 'The Crickets,' because Holly was already signed to another record label.
The song went on to revolutionize music and was one of the first songs recorded by the Liverpool skiffle group 'The Quarrymen,' which later became 'the Beatles.'
The role of 'Buddy Holly and the Crickets' in the development of rock and roll cannot be overstated. At the time, it was unclear what instrument was going to be the symbol of rock and roll, like the trumpet was the symbol of jazz. The Crickets popularized the guitar, as well as the form where the singer was also a member of the band. Previously, from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley, the singer was the star, and the band were faceless back up performers.
"That'll be the Day" also created the concept of the musicians also being the songwriters. Elvis, for example, wrote none of his early songs, like "Heartbreak Hotel," "That's All Right,” and "Blue Moon of Kentucky."
"That'll be the Day" was named in the Top Forty of Rolling Stone's Top 500 records of all time.
The house has undergone about $150,000 worth of renovations.