Wednesday, September 7, 2011

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Happy Birthday Buddy: Buddy Holly Transformed Music, Media Law, Say Texas Tech Experts

If his plane hadn’t crashed in an Iowa cornfield on Feb. 3, 1959, rock ’n’ roll legend Buddy Holly would have turned 75 Wednesday (Sept. 7). But his impact on music and the legal side of the music market still raves on currently, in accordance with two Texas Tech University professionals.

Holly’s musical career lasted only a year plus a half, but his talent as a musician grew phenomenally and would pave the way for future musicians, said Christopher Smith, an associate professor, chairman of musicology/ethnomusicology and director of the Vernacular Music Center at Texas Tech.

The level of talent that Holly brought would alter the way music would sound - plotting the course for the British Invasion of the 1960s, he stated.

“The pace of his musical development in the course of that time was pretty much prodigious,” Smith stated. “He took in new musical styles, looked at musical possibilities, then incorporated them into his own musical writing and arranging. He grew like a hothouse plant. But what created him seriously remarkable was that a young musician in, say Liverpool, England, could sit on the edge of his bed with his guitar, listen to Buddy Holly’s recordings and determine what he was doing.”

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Waylon Jennings and lots of other musicians would use Holly’s work as a foundation for their own careers, Smith said. But extra than that, Holly’s “regular guy” personality contrasted with Elvis Presley’s animal magnetism and encouraged the not-so-cool that they, too, could rock.

“John Lennon said Buddy Holly made it OK for a guy with glasses to rock,” Smith stated. “I feel that’s what lives on these days in music such as emo and alternative. Holly produced it acceptable to be sensitive and incorporate that sensitivity into the poetry of your lyrics.”

Not only did Holly change the music market creatively, but also he changed the way artists manage their contracts with recording labels, stated Wes Cochran, Maddox Professor of Law at Texas Tech’s School of Law and copyright and intellectual property law professional.

Cochran, who writes and speaks on topics such as copyright, intellectual property and technology problems, stated most artists just before Holly did not generate themselves and would turn the company aspects of their music and recording more than to recording market experts.

Holly had a shrewd understanding that the much more legal control he held more than his creations, the extra artistic freedom he would get. Artists ahead of Holly didn't produce themselves and would turn the business aspects of their music and recording over to recording market professionals. Mainly because they controlled the money, they also controlled a lot of an artist’s creativity, Cochran said.

In addition, Holly’s actions gave the record industry cause for alarm, seeing that they - the record producers - might be left totally out of the loop, he stated. Several artists felt absolutely free to follow Holly’s lead plus the record executives became extra flexible with them so as not to be left out totally.

“What Buddy did was truly revolutionary inside the entertainment market,” he said. “Buddy had his own vision, his own sound, and when he insisted on creating his own music, he was laughed at. No one did that back then. But he took control of the company side to ensure that he could control the creative side.”

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