Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sun Records history by Colin Escott and Martin Hawkins

Between 1975 and 1991 there have been three editions published of the history of Sun Records by Colin Escott and Martin Hawkins.  The first edition was published only in the UK.  The 1991 edition might well be the definitive edition as it has remained in print ever since and there has never been word of another revision.  The second edition was like the first book I ever had about Buddy Holly.  Neither left my side upon purchase and I would read a few pages at every opportunity.  These books were really my introduction to rockabilly music beyond the music itself.
I'd seen pictures of the first edition. Since the 1980s it was extremely rare and if I ever saw a copy for sale (maybe twice) it was just too expensive.  Last week I checked Amazon's other sellers and found two copies at very reasonable prices, one for a mere ten bucks.  I suspect these books have become so old that few people know it exists, hence the cheap price possibly due to low demand.  Well, by God it's mine now and I am glad to have it along side the two newer editions.  This is a gem in my music and book collection.

Buddy Holly biography by John Goldrosen

There have been several books written about Buddy Holly since his rescue from obscurity thanks to the 1977 biopic starring Gary Busey.  Fans of Buddy Holly are in pretty solid agreement that John Goldrosen's biography is the best.  It was the second biography of Buddy published.  My entrance to rockabilly fandom was in the late 1970s shortly before the publication of the second edition of Goldrosen's book, entitled "The Buddy Holly Story".  This second edition has a lot more in it than the first.  Nikki Sullivan, rhythm guitarist in the Crickets, had not yet been interviewed when the first edition was published.  He is quoted throughout much of the second edition.  His recollection of those years was very sharp and he was an articulate man.  I've met him personally and found this to be true.  Bill Griggs and the Buddy Holly Memorial Society make up a new chapter.  The aforementioned biopic was out by then and also warranted a chapter.  Since then the book was revised further with the addition of very helpful appendices. And it has been translated into German.

But my interest here is the first edition, entitled "Buddy Holly, His Life and Music" published in 1975 by the Bowling Green (Ohio) University Popular Press.  I never had a copy until a few days before writing this.  An autographed copy came up cheap on Amazon and I now finally have added it to my collection. When we attended the Buddy Holly Memorial Society convention in Lubbock, TX, in 1982, one of the other fans there had a copy of this first edition in hardback.  They said the hard cover edition had a very small print run.  But I am happy to have the paper cover edition.

Pictured here are, left to right, top:
"Buddy Holly, His Life and Music", 1975
same title, British edition, 1975
"The Buddy Holly Story", 1979
"Remembering Buddy, the Definitive Biography of Buddy Holly", 1987, which has remained in print.  This is the one to get if you have none.