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Charles Hardin Holley, 7 September 1936, Lubbock, Texas, USA, d. 3 February 1959, Clear Lake, Iowa, USA. Holly was one of the first major rock n roll groundbreakers, and one of its most influential artists. He wrote his own songs, recorded with a self-contained guitar-bass-drums combo, experimented in the studio and even changed the image of what a rock singer could look like: until he came along, the idea of a bespectacled rock idol was unthinkable. Hollys hiccupping vocal style and mature, melodic compositions inspired many of the rockers who would emerge in the 60s and 70s, from the Beatles and Bob Dylan to the Hollies. Later, British singer-songwriter Elvis Costello would emerge with an unabashed Holly-inspired physical appearance.
Like many other early rock n rollers, Hollys musical influences included both country music and race music, or R&B. He made his first stage appearance at the...