Buddy Holly, born Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), was a musician and singer-songwriter. He was a graduate of Lubbock High School, in Lubbock, TX, where he participated in choral groups. By his graduation year, Holly had already opened for Elvis Presley three times and landed a record contract. The following year, after a short stint recording for Decca, he moved to Brunswick Records and cut his first single under the band name the Crickets. During his brief career, Holly recorded three albums, writing and producing all of his songs. His popularity was on the rise when his life was cut short by a plane crash during a tour, killing him, the pilot, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper. This tragedy was later memorialized by Don McLean in the song “American Pie,” which refers to the crash as “The Day the Music Died.” An early rock-and-roll pioneer, Holly inspired and influenced many musicians who followed him, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, as part of its first class.