The inspiration for Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be the Day'

Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly and his band The Crickets performed at the Duluth Armory in January 1959.
Courtesy of the Armory Arts & Music Center

In 1956 Buddy Holly and his drummer Jerry Allison went to see a movie in their hometown of Lubbock, Texas. They saw "The Searchers" starring John Wayne. Wayne had a response that he used throughout the movie when someone said something he didn't agree with: "That'll be the day."

As legend has it, after the movie, Holly looked at Allison and said that it sure would be nice if they could record a hit song. And Jerry replied "That'll be the day."

That was the inspiration for a song that was No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart 60 years ago.

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