Lubbock’s claim to world fame is as the birthplace of Buddy Holly. Inspired by the blues and country music of his childhood – and a seminal encounter with the young Elvis Presley, gigging in Lubbock at the Cotton Club – Buddy Holly was one of rock’n’roll’s first singer-songwriters. The Holly sound, characterized by steady strumming guitar, rapid drumming and his trademark hiccupping vocals, was made famous by hits such as Peggy Sue, Not Fade Away and That’ll Be the Day. Buddy was killed at 22 in the Iowa plane crash of February 3, 1959 (“The Day the Music Died”), that also claimed the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. Don’t leave town without visiting the Buddy Holly Center, 1801 Crickets Ave (buddyhollycenter.org), an impressive space that holds a collection of Holly memorabilia, including the black glasses he wore on the day he died.

Across the street from the center is the Buddy Holly Statue, an 8ft bronze figure that’s the focal point of the Buddy and Maria Elena Holly Plaza. Buddy’s grave is in Lubbock’s cemetery at the end of 34th Street; take the right fork inside the gate, and the grave, decorated with flowers and guitar picks, is on the left.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to stay in LA: an area by area guide

Where to stay in LA: an area by area guide

Few regions of the world have been as idealized and mythologized as California – and yet it seldom fails to live up to the hype. The glamour, surf beaches and…

22 Jun 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The 15 most spectacular sights in Southwest USA

The 15 most spectacular sights in Southwest USA

A vast expanse of stunning desert scenery, the Southwest is arguably the USA’s most spectacular region. For splendour and sheer scale, the landscape consisten…

06 Jun 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful places in the USA – as voted by you

The most beautiful places in the USA – as voted by you

We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to vote for the most beautiful locations in the USA. Now the results are in. This gallery showcases the top ten most…

31 May 2017 • Lottie Gross camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month