Buddy Holly - That'll Be the Day - 1957

Introduction to "That'll Be the Day" by Buddy Holly (1957)

Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day", released in 1957, is a rock and roll classic that marked a significant moment in the history of popular music. This song, with its catchy melody and pioneering sound, not only showcases Holly's talent but also reflects the musical and cultural shifts of the late 1950s. In this module, you'll explore the song's background, its significance in Buddy Holly's career, and its impact on the music industry.

Background and Release

That'll Be the Day was written by Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison (drummer of The Crickets) and produced by Norman Petty. The title was inspired by a phrase used frequently by John Wayne in the film The Searchers. The song was initially recorded in 1956 but didn't gain popularity until its re-recording and release in 1957 by The Crickets, a band formed by Holly. This track, with its blend of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and country influences, is a prime example of Holly's innovative approach to music.

Significance and Influence

The song's success was pivotal in Buddy Holly's career, establishing him as a key figure in the rock and roll movement. Its unique sound influenced future generations of musicians and helped shape the sound of rock music. "That'll Be the Day" is often cited as an early example of the power of the rock and roll genre to cross cultural and racial barriers.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What inspired the title "That'll Be the Day"? (The phrase frequently used by John Wayne in The Searchers) (!Buddy Holly's personal diary) (!A popular saying in Texas during the 1950s) (!A line from a Shakespeare play)

In what year was "That'll Be the Day" first recorded? (1956) (!1955) (!1957) (!1958)

Which band recorded "That'll Be the Day" with Buddy Holly? (The Crickets) (!The Beatles) (!The Rolling Stones) (!The Beach Boys)

Who co-wrote "That'll Be the Day" with Buddy Holly? (Jerry Allison) (!Elvis Presley) (!Chuck Berry) (!Ritchie Valens)

What combination of genres is evident in "That'll Be the Day"? (Rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and country) (!Jazz, blues, and rockabilly) (!Folk, country, and blues) (!Pop, rock, and jazz)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In which year was Buddy Holly born? (1936) (!1935) (!1937) (!1938)

Buddy Holly was a pioneer in which genre of music? (Rock and roll) (!Jazz) (!Blues) (!Country)

What was the name of the record producer who worked with Buddy Holly on "That'll Be the Day"? (Norman Petty) (!Sam Phillips) (!George Martin) (!Phil Spector)

Buddy Holly tragically died in a plane crash in what year? (1959) (!1960) (!1958) (!1961)

Which instrument was Buddy Holly famously known for playing? (Guitar) (!Piano) (!Drums) (!Saxophone)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What is the main theme of the lyrics in "That'll Be the Day"? (Love and heartbreak) (!Friendship and loyalty) (!Travel and adventure) (!Success and fame)

In "That'll Be the Day," what does the singer claim will happen when you say goodbye? (That'll be the day when I die) (!That'll be the day when I cry) (!That'll be the day of truth) (!That'll be the day of reckoning)

Which phrase is repeated throughout the song "That'll Be the Day"? (That'll be the day) (!I'll always remember) (!Love me forever) (!Till the end of time)

The lyrics of "That'll Be the Day" imply that the singer is (Skeptical of the partner's intentions) (!Completely trusting of the partner) (!Indifferent to the relationship) (!Excited about a new beginning)

How does the singer in "That'll Be the Day" express their feelings about the future of the relationship? (With a sense of irony and disbelief) (!With overwhelming optimism) (!With deep sadness and regret) (!With a sense of peace and closure)


"That'll Be the Day" Release Year 1957
Buddy Holly's Instrument Guitar
Co-writer of "That'll Be the Day" Jerry Allison
Inspired by a Film The Searchers
Buddy Holly's Birth Year 1936

Open Tasks


  1. Research Buddy Holly: Look up more information about Buddy Holly's life and career.
  2. Listen to The Crickets: Listen to other songs by The Crickets and compare them to "That'll Be the Day".
  3. Explore 1950s Music: Discover other popular songs from the 1950s and note how they differ from or are similar to "That'll Be the Day".


  1. Analyze Lyrics: Analyze the lyrics of "That'll Be the Day" and discuss its themes.
  2. Music Genre Study: Explore the blend of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and country in "That'll Be the Day" and how it influenced music.
  3. Cultural Impact: Research the cultural impact of "That'll Be the Day" in the late 1950s.


  1. Music Production Analysis: Study the production techniques used in "That'll Be the Day" and how they contributed to its sound.
  2. Cover Versions: Find and compare different cover versions of "That'll Be the Day".
  3. Historical Context: Explore the historical context of the late 1950s and how it influenced the music of Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

Text bearbeiten Bild einfügen Video einbetten Interaktive Aufgaben erstellen

Oral Exam

  1. Music Evolution: Discuss how Buddy Holly's music, including "That'll Be the Day", influenced the development of rock music.
  2. Cultural Significance: Explain the cultural significance of "That'll Be the Day" in the context of the 1950s.
  3. Artistic Influence: Explore how Buddy Holly's style and approach to music have influenced other musicians.
  4. Lyrics Interpretation: Analyze the lyrics of "That'll Be the Day" and relate them to the themes of love and heartbreak in music.
  5. Historical Analysis: Discuss the role of "That'll Be the Day" in shaping the musical landscape of the late 1950s.

OERs on the Topic


Share - Discuss - Rate


Text bearbeiten Bild einfügen Video einbetten Interaktive Aufgaben erstellen

Teilen Facebook Twitter Google Mail an MOOCit Missbrauch melden Zertifikat beantragen

(0 Stimmen)