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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