John Lennon and The Rolling Stones Sing Buddy Holly

This week marks the 50th anniversary of “the day the music died.” That’s Don McLean’s way of talking about the 1959 airplane crash that cut short the budding lives and careers of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. In ’59, Buddy Holly’s musical career was just getting started, but his influence was already being felt far and wide. Case in point, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys all covered Holly songs during their early careers. Here you can watch the Stones sing Not Fade Away in 1964. And, above, you can watch rare footage of John Lennon moving from a Lead Belly tune (“Rock Island Line”) to a little Buddy Holly medley that includes “Maybe Baby” and “Peggy Sue.” (The Beatles’ take on “Words of Love” can be listened to here as well.) Enjoy.

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