Grammy-winning producer Peter Asher has always maintained that Linda Ronstadt’s version of Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day” was the best he’d ever heard.
So naturally, he included it on the new Holly tribute he’s executive produced, “Listen To Me: Buddy Holly,” which hits shelves on Sept. 6 as part of the Songmasters series on Verve/Forecast, all in honor of the late legend’s 75th birthday.
But the rest of the tracks are all decidedly modern twists, featuring top-flight artists (and huge Holly fans) like Imelda May, Jeff Lynne, Chris Isaak, Pat Monahan, Jackson Browne, Stevie Nicks, Natalie Merchant, Brian Wilson, Patrick Stump, Ringo Starr and others. All performances were authorized by Holly’s widow, Maria Elena.
The next day, Sept. 7, the tribute marches on when Holly’s star on Hollywood’s Walk Of Fame is unveiled.
That evening, at L.A.’s Music Box, a backing band boasting guitarist Waddy Wachtel will support an all-star vocal lineup for an invite-only, HD-filmed concert of Holly catalog classics. It will be broadcast on PBS as part of their December pledge drive, then issued on DVD/Blu-Ray afterwards.
Why did Asher feel so strongly about this project?
“Buddy showed us how brilliant and unforgettable songs could be written using the simplest of chords,” he says. “He taught us the value of a lyric which came from the heart and the importance of making records the way you heard them in your head.”
For more: www.listentomebuddyholly.com.