In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Buddy Holly 13th on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
For many, Holly is most famous for wearing thick rimmed glasses, singing Peggy Sue and then dying in an aeroplane crash and looking like an early version of Elvis Costello and that was pretty much my view of him up until my late teens when i began taking more of an interest in musical history.
I wouldn't describe myself as a big fan of Buddy Holly and i don't think that his music has particularly aged very well but he did have a unique style and image that makes him stay in the memory.
The most obvious trait was his thick rimmed glasses which, even back in the late 50s, must have made him stand out from the slick look of his fellow musicians. He also had that hiccuping style of singing which sounded as if he had made the line in the lyric too short and was trying to stretch out the line to fit the tune. Very effective though and attributed to him borrowing the style used by country singers of that era.
Considering that he was only around for 18 months and at 22, probably had the better years ahead of him, he did seem to leave a mark on music disproportionate to his short time in the spotlight.
I would pick out 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore' and 'True Love Ways' as my favourite Buddy songs and if you take a glance of the other acts around at the time you get a sense of how something simple but driving like 'Peggy Sue' or 'Oh Boy' would appear a revelation.
Whether he deserves to appear 13th in a list of greatest artists ever is debatable but i do get a sense of how influential he might have been in showing that you don't need to be handsome like Elvis or a guitar sensation like Chuck Berry to leave your mark on the history of music timeline.