Buddy Facts




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

Total performances to 2016: 20,921
Number of people up dancing at the end…


  • In total our Buddy Hollys have sung 17 songs 259,671 times
  • 185,000 guitar strings have been replaced (92 miles) and over 211,000 plectrums used
  • Over 3,310 pairs of trousers have had to be replaced – due to Buddy knee sliding across stages throughout the world – and 400 pairs of glasses
  • Over 33 tons of washing powder has been used by our Wardrobe Mistresses/Masters, as well as more than 2,275 gallons of fabric conditioner
  • 145,000 feet (27.46 miles) of guitar cable have been used and 2,829,214 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!
  • 3.3 million programmes have been sold
  • The performers have drunk over 102,000 gallons of bottled water. The beer intake has never been monitored!
  • Since Buddy first began there have been 24 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, and Roger Rowley
  • The Cast album has received a Gold Disc and is ‘Buddy’ close to reaching Platinum!
  • Throughout the world ten couples have met and married while working in the company and there have been 20 Buddy babies!
  • As of 2016, there have been 6,893 UK-only performances of the show


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!

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 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.

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.

Two films have been made about Buddy Holly; a rather poetic version in 1978 and then in 1987 The Real Buddy Holly Story, narrated by lifelong fan Paul McCartney.

In 1971 Don McLean sang about Buddy’s tragic early death as ‘the day the music died’ in his enduring hit song ‘American Pie’.

On 1stJuly 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.

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

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