Drummer for ‘Buddy Holly and The Crickets,’ rock pioneer Jerry Allison dies at 82

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:02 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2022 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Jerry ‘J.I’ Allison of Hillsboro, Texas, has died at the age of 82, according to the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.

“We’re desperately sad to hear the news today that one of Buddy’s closest friends, and our great friend and Ambassador, Jerry Allison has passed away,” a post on the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation Facebook said.

“JI was more than just the drummer in The Crickets, he was one of the most influential musicians in early rock n’ roll, who pioneered new ways to play and record. Along with Sonny Curtis, he and Buddy watched JOHN WAYNE in The Searchers, providing the inspiration for That’ll Be The Day. His songwriting credits also included Well Alright, Think It Over, Tell Me How and of course Peggy Sue, and as the blueprint for the rock n’ roll drummer that has been adopted by every single 3, 4 and 5 piece band ever since, JI could play his kit, or a cardboard box, or even slap his knees and give rhythm to records that weren’t just hits, but became legendary releases. His songs like Real Wild Child have lasted and been covered for decades, and yet, the musical legacy barely tells the tale of the man. For someone who achieved so much he remained grounded, entertaining, affable and just a simply great guy. We met JI many times and loved his stories from the birth of rock n’ roll. As much a pioneer of his own craft as Buddy was, he still spoke with passion and humility, full of anecdotes of how it was to be there when the music we love was brand new and pushing boundaries. JI supported us in promoting Buddy Holly and The Crickets’ legacy, appearing in our BBC documentaries and co-producing our Classic Albums: The Chirping Crickets. He was always keen to hear of our latest projects.”

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