On Feb. 3, 1959, a Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper crashed, killing all passengers. Rolling Stone said Holly was the 14th greatest musician in rock, but I say he deserves a much higher place in that pantheon.
Without Buddy Holly, a rocking and rolling band might still be nothing but a group of session musicians assembled as a vehicle for a vocalist who will perform songs written by others. From his unique vocal delivery and guitar work to his use of non-rock instruments and mastery of studio production, Holly laid the foundation for what pop music would become (in the good sense).
Without him, there might be no Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Paul Simon or Elvis Costello. And those are only people who were directly influenced by him, not to mention all of the residual influence. Also, here’s the video for Buddy Holly from Weezer: