Stars From Stevie Nicks to Zooey Deschanel Turn Out for Peter Asher’s Buddy Holly Tribute Album

Zooey Deschanel Fox photo

Buddy Holly might have been celebrating his 75th birthday Sept. 7, had the iconic rock ‘n’ roll pioneer not lost his life at age 22 in the infamous “day the music died” Iowa plane crash along with Richie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.  This year, Holly’s birthday will be celebrated in a huge way, with events including the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame, and the release of “Listen To Me: Buddy Holly” an all-star tribute album that will also serve as the basis of the “Ultimate Buddy Party,” a VIP concert event that will be filmed as a PBS special.

Buddy Holly

Legendary record producer Peter Asher is the man behind “Listen To Me,” and he’ll be on hand to speak at the star unveiling as well as the concert.  He tells us the first performer lined up for the album was Stevie Nicks.  “We asked her very early on, so she got to choose which song she wanted to do.  She grabbed ‘Not Fade Away’ and did a really great job with it.  It’s a really great vocal.'”

Others on the highly-listenable album include Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Eric Idle, The Fray, Cobra Starship, Patrick Stump, Jeff Lynne, Natalie Merchant, Imelda May, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Chris Isaak, Pat Monahan of Train, and Zooey Deschanel.

Stevie Nicks

Asher says, “It was one step at a time.  There are people we thought would be Buddy Holly fans who weren’t necessarily.  Others heard what we were doing and said, ‘I’m in.'”  Zooey — the couldn’t-be-hotter indie rocker-actress who has a new Fox sitcom, “The New Girl” debuting Sept. 20 — was actually the last star aboard the project.  “That was interesting.  We were thinking about ‘It’s So Easy,'” he says of the perennial Holly favorite, “and I’d been a fan of Zooey’s since I first heard She & Him” — her duo.  Then, “I ran into her in my house — at a party my daughter Victoria was giving downstairs,” he says.  Victoria is a member of Cobra Starship.  “I had read that she was a Linda Ronstadt fan, so I knew we had that in common…She committed right away.” 

Ronstadt’s 1976 hit version of Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day” — one of many Ronstadt recordings produced by Asher — is also included on the album.

Peter Asher

“It’s a labor of love for me,” he says of the project, into which he’s put about a year so far.  Holly’s career, he notes, was incredibly prolific and potent despite its stunning bevity.  “Not only did he write this extraordinary catalogue of songs, but he was starting to change things in other ways.  He wanted to start his own label.  That was revolutionary at the time.  He was questioning the structure of  the record business.  He would have changed the whole music business.” 
 Not only that, but “He made glasses cool.  He was the nerdy guy for the nerdy guys among us, like me, to identify with.  My songwriting partner at the time wanted to be Elvis.  I wanted to be Buddy Holly.”

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This entry was posted in The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

One thought on “Stars From Stevie Nicks to Zooey Deschanel Turn Out for Peter Asher’s Buddy Holly Tribute Album

  1. Pingback: Buddy Holly’s Tribute Album: “Listen To Me: Buddy Holly” | Boomermovies

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