On February 25, 1957, Buddy Holly records “That’ll Be the Day” at Norman Petty’s studio in Clovis, New Mexico. The single is released on the Brunswick label (a Decca subsidiary) and credited to Holly’s band the Crickets. The song had its genesis in a trip to the movies by Holly and other members of his band in June, 1956. The John Wayne film The Searchers was playing. Wayne’s frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, “that’ll be the day” inspired the young musicians. Find Buddy Holly at the library, on hoopla and in Freegal.
There was a time in America, early in the last century, when the top-selling record of all time was of the operatic tenor Enrico Caruso performing “Vesti la giubba” from Pagliacci. That 78 r.p.m. record was the first million-seller in American history, and at a price that exceeded the cost of some tickets to a live Caruso performance. It has happened occasionally in more recent times that stars from the world of opera have crossed over to attain a degree of mainstream popularity—Plácido Domingo, José Carrera and Luciano Pavarotti, performing as “the Three Tenors,” are the most successful that come to mind. Yet it might take 300 tenors of their stature to equal the cultural impact of Enrico Caruso. The most famous operatic tenor in history and the biggest recording artist of the early 20th century, Enrico Caruso was born in Naples, Italy on February 25, 1873. Find Caruso at the library, on hoopla and in Freegal.