Long-time rock fans have always been bitterly divided about him. He wasn't a hardcore rocker, being too gentle and melodic, and this eccentricity can be construed either as backsliding or as progression.Yes, and though Nik Cohn couldn't know it writing in 1969, that tradition turned out to be indie.
Holly's breakthrough, in fact, was that he opened up alternatives to all-out hysteria. Not many white kids had the lungs or sheer hunger to copy Little Richard but Holly was easy. All you needed was tonsils. The beat was lukewarm, the range minimal – no acrobatics or rage or effort required. You just stood up straight and mumbled.
In this way, Buddy Holly was the patron saint of all the thousands of no-talent kids who ever tried to make a million dollars. He was the founder of a noble tradition.Nik Cohn, Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom (1969), pp. 42–3
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