Buddy Facts




UK Tours
USA Tours
San Francisco / Las Vegas /
Los Angeles
New Zealand
South Africa
British Columbia

Total performances to 2018: 21,288
Number of people up dancing at the end…


  • Since opening at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, in August 1989, Buddy has played 556 weeks (4,450 performances) on tour in the U.K., and 728 weeks (5822 performances) in London’s West End – for a total of 10,272 U.K. performances!
  • In total our Buddy Hollys have sung 17 songs 264,346 times
  • 186,000 guitar strings have been replaced (92 miles) and over 212,000 plectrums used
  • 3,320 pairs of trousers have had to be replaced – due to Buddy knee sliding across stages throughout the world – and 410 pairs of glasses
  • Over 33 tons of washing powder has been used by our Wardrobe Mistresses/Masters, as well as more than 2,750 gallons of fabric conditioner
  • 150,000 feet (28.41 miles) of guitar cable have been used and 3,038,785 radio mic batteries replaced 
  • The trucks that are used to transport the show from venue to venue have now travelled approximately five-and-three-quarter times around the world!
  • 3.4 million programmes have been sold
  • The performers have drunk over 104,000 gallons of bottled water. The beer intake has never been monitored!
  • Since Buddy first began there have been 27 actors playing the title role of Buddy in the West End, on tour and on Broadway: Paul Hipp, Billy Geraghty, Joe Warren Davis, Ken Triwush, Steve Gray, Chip Esten, Joe Lutton, Alex Bourne, Martin Fisher, Angus MacGregor, John Sheridon, Craig Urbani, Kevin Pallister, Robert Burke Warren, Klaus White, Van Zeiler, Reuven Gershon, Edward Handoll, Elliot Harper, Dean Elliott, Matthew Wycliffe, Glen Joseph, Oliver Seymour Marsh, Roger Rowley, Alex Fobbester, Christopher Weeks, and AJ Jenks
  • The Cast album has received a Gold Disc and is ‘Buddy’ close to reaching Platinum!
  • Throughout the world 12 couples have met and married while working in the company and there have been 26 Buddy babies!
  • Buddy's West End run of over 14 years – playing the Victoria Palace, Strand (now Novello), and Duchess Theatres – makes it one of the longest-running shows in London theatre history! 


Buddy Holly’s first instrument was the piano.

Hank Williams was Buddy Holly’s earliest musical influence.

The oldest known recording of Buddy is from about 1949, singing ‘My Two Timin’ Woman’ at around the age of 13, before his voice broke!

Buddy and his best friend Bob Montgomery opened for Elvis Presley in February 1955, at the Fair Park Coliseum in Lubbock, Buddy borrowing Presley’s guitar for the show.

The original Crickets were Buddy Holly (lead guitar and vocals), Jerry Allison (drums), Niki Sullivan (rhythm guitar), and Joe Mauldin (bass) – their first hit was ‘That’ll Be The Day’.

Buddy and the Crickets wrote most of their own material, which was unique at the time. Before Buddy, pop music performance and song-writing were mostly separate endeavours, where composers wrote songs and performers recorded and played them in concert.

Buddy and the Crickets played on Ed Sullivan’s popular variety show twice, but refused to appear a third time due to a previous disagreement with Sullivan about what they could play.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets’ one and only British tour took place between 1st and 25th March, 1958.

A young Des O’ Connor was one of the four acts who toured with them.

They appeared on the 100th show of Sunday Night at the London Palladium – Bob Hope was top of the bill.

Buddy played his last concert at the Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa, U.S.A., on February 2nd, 1959, along with fellow rock & roll stars Ritchie Valens and J.P. ‘the Big Bopper’ Richardson.

Legendary country superstar Waylon Jennings had his first record produced by Buddy Holly.

According to the song credits on ‘Not Fade Away’ and ‘Baby I Don’t Care’ Jerry Allison’s instrument was the ‘cardboard box’! On ‘Everyday’ he is credited with ‘knee slapping’!

One of Buddy’s most famous hits, ‘Peggy Sue’, was originally called ‘Cindy Lou’, but he changed it at the request of Jerry Allison, who wanted the song to be named after his girlfriend.

Buddy proposed to Maria Elena Santiago on their first date, just hours after meeting her!

The Quarrymen (later to become The Beatles) covered ‘That'll Be The Day’ in their first recording. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Stuart Sutcliffe (the Beatles’ original bass guitarist) were all huge Buddy Holly fans, and came up with the name The Beatles in homage to Buddy’s band the Crickets.

Buddy’s ‘Not Fade Away’ was covered by the Rolling Stones in 1964, and became the band’s first top 10 hit in Britain, reaching number three.

Two major films have been made about Buddy Holly; Gary Busey received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Buddy in The Buddy Holly Story in 1979, then in 1987 lifelong fan Paul McCartney narrated The Real Buddy Holly Story documentary.

Don McLean’s 1971 classic ‘American Pie’ is all about the fateful plane crash which took the lives of Buddy, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and pilot Roger Peterson. In the third verse McLean sings, “I can’t remember if I cried, when I read about his widowed bride.” The bride was Maria Elena Holly (née Santiago).

On 1st July 1976 Paul McCartney purchased the rights to Buddy Holly’s entire song catalogue.

In 1980 the citizens of Lubbock, Texas, Buddy’s home town, unveiled a heroic bronze statue of their most famous son.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Buddy 13th on its list of ‘100 Greatest Artists of All-Time’ in 2011 — not bad considering Buddy died at the age of just 22!

The musical Buddy has to date run in London’s West End for nearly 15 years. Opening in October 1989, it has played at the Victoria Palace Theatre, the Strand (now Novello) Theatre, and the Duchess Theatre. Generations of reviewers, as well as countless theatregoers and music lovers, have been stunned by the show, calling it ‘a cynic-busting, exuberant delight’ and summed up nicely by The Sun: ‘It’s Buddy brilliant’.

Rockin' All Over The World

For details od 'BUDDY' Productions around the world - Click the arrow on the right!

Click Here