500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Buddy Holly and the Crickets, 'That'll Be the Day'
Writers: Jerry Allison, Holly, Norman Petty
Released: May '57, Brunswick
1 week; No. 1
Recorded in Clovis, New Mexico, in February 1957, the song took its title from a recurring line in the John Wayne movie The Searchers. "We were cutting 'That'll Be the Day' just as a demo to send to New York, just to see if they liked the sound of the group — not for a master record," recalled Crickets drummer Allison. "So we just went in and set up and sort of shucked through the song." Allison credits Holly's guitar-picking on "That'll Be the Day" to the influence of New Orleans bluesman Lonnie Johnson.
Appears on: Greatest Hits (MCA)