Promo campaign to celebrate Buddy Holly’s 60th anniversary

February 1996

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From Club Sandwich N°77, Spring 1996:

Buddy Holly would have turned 60 years of age this September. Cause for celebration, certainly. And his birthday, as ever, will provide the focus for Paul McCartney’s annual Buddy Holly Week extravaganza. Because these began 20 years ago, in 1976, this year will be the 21st. So it’ll be an extra special celebration.

With great fanfare, and no little expense, Decca Records in the USA and MCA in the UK are marking Buddy’s 60th with notfadeaway, a neat album that brings together a wide variety of artists – although Paul is not one of them – singing Holly songs (and, incidentally, unites Buddy Holly with The Hollies on ‘Peggy Sue Got Married‘ in much the same way that studio technology allowed John to reunite with Paul, George and Ringo for “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love“).

Oddly, the album was issued in February, the anniversary of Buddy’s death in 1959, rather than his birth in 1936, but we’ll not be picky because, let’s face it, any remembrance of Buddy is worth having.

The February 1996 campaign for Buddy’s 60th included a special supplement in the US music trade magazine Billboard, and MPL was one of many companies proud to place an ad. As you can see, the design magicked a tantalising image: Paul and Buddy Holly, together on stage. Oh Boy, what a combination!

From The Beatles Monthly N°239, March 1996:

As part of notfadeaway, an eight-page tribute to Buddy Holly in the 3rd February edition of America’s Billboard magazine, MPL Communications lnc. took out a full-page colour advertisement saluting the late rock’n’roller. Above the slogan, “Buddy touches everyone with his music and still does”, the advert featured a unique photo-montage of a right-handed Buddy Holly joining to a left-handed Paul McCartney at the neck of their respective guitars. “We are proud to have been publishing his music and presenting Buddy Holly Week for twenty-one years”, concluded the ad.

Part of the remembrance campaign is a Nashville-based tribute CD also called notfadeaway. Although MPL is involved in promoting the album, Paul does not contribute any music to the project. “Paul thought it was brilliant,” observed MPL’s Alan Crowder, “but he couldn’t get involved in the time span they have because of other things he was doing.

This visual would be reused three years after for the Buddy Holly Week 1999.

Last updated on September 19, 2020

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