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'BABY I DON'T CARE' Recorded December 1957 at Norman Petty Recording Studios, Clovis, New Mexico Personnel: Buddy Holly (guitar, vocals), Jerry Allison (cardboard box percussion), Joe B. Mauldin (double bass), C.W. Kendall Jr (piano) One of several recordings by Buddy and the boys which weren't self-composed, but were contemporary material that they liked. Most readers will remember Elvis singing this number at a poolside party in one of his best films, Jailhouse Rock, and the track was included on the million- selling EP of the same name. It was one of two numbers from the prodigious Leiber & Stoller songbook that Buddy recorded, the other being 'Smokey Joe's Café', one of the Apartment Tape tracks. This songwriting team penned many of Elvis' best songs: 'Baby I Don't Care' was a particular favourite of their pal, Eddie Cochran, so it was natural enough for Buddy to include it when they were rooting around for stuff to complete the Buddy Holly album. Initially mistitled 'You're So Square (Baby I Don't Care)', Buddy's version is superb, and all the more impressive when one remembers that Jerry Allison's drumming was performed on a stout cardboard box. (Interestingly, unlike Elvis, Holly makes no mention of 'hot rod races' in his reading of the song. One can only speculate why it was omitted.) It became a surprise double-sided UK hit in 1961 when, coupled with 'Valley of Tears', it reached No.12. In 1984, the Picks overdubbed backing vocals onto this recording LLOYD CALL Another obscure name from the annals of West Texas music. In 1958, Call dubbed vocals onto 'Little Cowboy' and 'If I Had Known' using a backing track laid down by Buddy Holly (acoustic guitar), Jerry Allison (drums), Vi Petty (piano) and George Atwood (bass). Neither of these has been issued, although Lloyd lip-synched to 'Little Cowboy' at the 1987 Norman & Vi Petty Music Festival (see CLOVIS). In June 1958 Homer Tankersley added his vocals to 'If I Had Known' and this was duly issued on Petty's Nor-Va-Jak label. Never a full-time musician, Call spent much of his working life as a school administrator in Portales, New Mexico. GLEN CAMPBELL Born in Arkansas in 1936, Glen Campbell is one of those artists whose achievements are never-ending. He was a member of the Champs ('Tequila'), the emergent Beach Boys, and even backed Gene Vincent on a Challenge album in the mid-'60s. (David Gates, Dash Crofts and Jimmy Seals were also in the band at that last Vincent session – quite a stellar line- up.) And, if a surfing record was being cut (eg the Hondells), chances are he was involved there too. Even so, it's still a surprise to discover that, for a short while, he was also a Cricket, albeit only in the recording studio. Most famously, he played on their 1962 British Top 10 hit, 'Don't Ever Change'. He also did frequent session work with Jerry Naylor. Glen has gone on to enjoy an incredible career peppered with gold records and other prestigious industry awards, but the abiding image these days is of a kilted Campbell playing the bagpipes as the finale to his stage act. RAY CAMPI A legendary bass-slapping rockabilly star from the '50s, Ray Campi was born in New York City in 1934, but moved to the Deep South as a child. Although not a name you'll find in the standard book of hit singles, he's nevertheless spent a lifetime in and around the music business while moonlighting in well over thirty outside jobs. An occasional visitor to Britain from the rockabilly revival days of the '70s onwards, he has also recorded for a variety of minor record labels including Ronny Weiser's Rollin' Rock imprint and is deservedly in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Campi was one of the first artists to pitch in with a tribute disc in the wake of the '59 plane crash. Within days of 3 February, he recorded the self-penned 'The Man I Met (A Tribute To The Big Bopper)', while the flip, 'Ballad of Donna and Peggy Sue', was dedicated to the other two stars. The single came out on Pappy Daily's D label, which also released 'Gold Records In The Snow' by Bennie Barnes. Unlike Tommy Dee's maudlin 'Three Stars' (see DEATH DISCS), neither of these releases made the national charts. Ironically, Campi had corresponded with Holly and spoken to him on the phone, but they never got the chance to meet. He later recorded at Clovis, although nothing from these sessions was issued. TINKER CARLEN A figure on the edge of the Buddy Holly story, Tinker Carlen is the epitome of a good ole Texas boy. He was a contemporary of Holly's at school and ran around Lubbock with him and others during the early '50s. He's also known to have briefly jammed with him (Bill Griggs has published a picture of Buddy and Tinker together), but was never in any of Holly's groups. In 1983, Carlen got together with Larry Holley and put out a single on the latter's Cloud 9 label: the evocatively titled 'Looking For The Hi-D-Ho' b/w a duet with Sherry Holly of 'Raining In My Heart'. Still living in Lubbock, Tinker recently published a memoir of his life in 1950s Lubbock with the rather fanciful title of Tinker Carlen: An Original Cricket. He's mentioned here with much affection, but the consensus must surely be that he wasn't ever officially a Cricket, although no-one would wish to deny him his time in the sun. CARLSBAD A small town in New Mexico, about 150 miles from Clovis, Carlsbad is mostly famous for its huge bat caves. It was also the place where, on 2 March 1957, the Crickets made their very first stage appearance under their new name. For several years rumours persisted that Bobby Peeples had taped the show, but like so many others it came to nothing. See also RUMOURS. UK TOUR The United Kingdom incorporates the historic kingdoms of Scotland and England, the principality of Wales and the province of Northern Ireland – meaning, rather pedantically, that the Crickets didn't get to visit many parts of the UK at all! Looking at the itinerary, every stop during March 1958 was at an English venue, the exception being the penultimate gig at the Capitol Cinema in Cardiff, Wales. However the group did appear on a couple of nationally networked TV shows during their stay, so most of the population got the chance to see them, if only as flickering images on their screens. Shows were scheduled from 1 to 25 March inclusive with no rest days, and it must have been a punishing experience for the Texans! But the trio still managed to fit in several interviews, meeting up with musical journalists such as Keith Goodwin from the NME, visit the Austin car plant in Longbridge, stroll around the university grounds in Cambridge, and otherwise fill every waking hour taking in the new sights and sounds. It was certainly a far cry from West Texas and, at that point, only their second overseas visit (they had just returned from Australia the month before). The complete troupe that toiled around Britain included many more acts in addition to the headliners. Des O'Connor, then on his way to the top of the show business tree, was the comic and compère: the man who really held the show together and befriended the group. The remainder comprised the Tanner Sisters, a well-known vocal duo, but not a chart act, and Gary Miller, who'd had a string of British hits, the latest of which, 'The Story of My Life', was still in the charts when the tour kicked off. Underpinning the bill were Ronnie Keene & His Orchestra, who got to do their own spot during the first half. And we mustn't forget Norman and Vi Petty, who accompanied the Crickets and took care of the logistics, so that the boys could concentrate on the performing. On stage, the Crickets included many songs they hadn't recorded, such as 'Tutti Frutti' and Be-Bop-A-Lula', and also threw in the occasional ballad. The above is the sketchiest of outlines. However, Jim Carr of Holly International has published the definitive account of the whole tour (see Selected Bibliography).
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