The Crickets drummer Jerry Allison dies, aged 82

23 August 2022, 13:03 | Updated: 10 October 2023, 14:03

Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison and Joe Mauldlin in The Crickets
Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison and Joe Mauldlin in The Crickets. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Drummer Jerry Allison was the only constant member of the Crickets, from their creation in 1957 until their final performance in 2016.

Jerry Allison, who was the drummer for Buddy Holly's band The Crickets, has died at the age of 82.

His death was confirmed yesterday (August 22) in a statement shared on Buddy Holly's official Facebook page, which spoke of “sincerest condolences to the family and friends” of the drummer.

Allison was described as “one of Buddy’s very closest friends, and the inspiration to drummers for decades since”.

“[Allison] was a musician ahead of his time, and undoubtedly his energy, ideas and exceptional skill contributed to both The Crickets, and rock n’ roll itself, becoming such a success,” the statement added.

Top to bottom: Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly and Joe B Mauldin
Top to bottom: Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly and Joe B Mauldin. Picture: Getty

“Buddy is often heralded as the original singer-songwriter, but [Allison], too, wrote and inspired so many of the songs that would go on to be eternal classics. There’s more to be said and posted here in the coming days. For today, we think about his family and friends and wish [Allison] to rest in peace.”

Born in Texas in 1939, Allison was one of the original four members of The Crickets. He and Buddy Holly formed the group in 1957 alongside bassist Joe B Mauldin and guitarist Niki Sullivan.

The latter would leave the group soon after, and they continued as a trio.

Buddy Holly & The Crickets "That'll Be The Day" on The Ed Sullivan Show

Buddy and Jerry co-wrote 1956’s ‘That’ll Be The Day’, and 1957’s ‘Peggy Sue’ alongside Norman Petty.

Following Buddy's death in 1959, Allison and Mauldin continued to tour and record under the Crickets name, with Allison as the only constant member.

Mauldin died in 2015 from cancer, and a year later, Allison and others performed at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, the site of Holly’s final performance.

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