This is like listening to the past and future at the same time!
In the spring of 1958, Sonny West met with boyhood friend Buddy Holly in Clovis, New Mexico. Fresh off the success of the West-penned Rave On and Oh Boy, Holly was keen to have the future Rockabilly-Hall-of-Famer write a few more songs. West began the process, but the tragedy of February 1959 intervened and West’s motivation to complete those songs perished along with the music on the day memorialized by Don McLean in American Pie.
More than a half century later, the Buddy Holly Guitar Foundation asked West to complete those songs. This afternoon, I received a CD from West containing three tunes. Two were but figments of West’s imagination back in 1958 while he had written half of one. West dug out his lyric sheet and memories and put these new/old songs to wax, er, make that to digital symbols cast in plastic.
I’ve had these three songs on “repeat” in my iTunes all afternoon (in an album I’ve denoted, “Sonny West Rides Again!”). I’ll confess that I had some trepidation about whether West could rekindle his old magic, but these songs are seriously good. The tune that was half-completed back in 1958 really does sound like the next step in the artistic progression from Rave On to Oh Boy to the new/old creation.
Stay tuned for information about when you can hear these songs. All I can tell you at this point is that the music certainly didn’t die on February 3, 1959.
Oh, and Rave On!