The Greatest Rock and Roll Band – Part II

Dick recently wrote about the Greatest Rock and Roll Band ever. He used the 4 P’s of Marketing to help support his claim that the Rolling Stones deserve the title of the Greatest Band. (See

While using Dick’s analysis may define the Rolling Stones as the Greatest, (others will disagree) Dick is overlooking another group that influenced the Stones and countless other bands. Due to their short career, they did not have an opportunity to perform for 50 years, release numerous albums or have multiple #1’s. However their influence shaped rock and roll music for decades.

The Crickets

Based on their music, style and appearance, Buddy Holly (Holley) and the Crickets influenced numerous people and bands.  From Wikipedia:

Contrary to popular belief, teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney did not attend a Holly concert, although they watched his television appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Ian Whitcomb once said "Buddy Holly and the Crickets had the most influence on the Beatles."[26] Lennon and McCartney later cited Holly as a primary influence.[27] (Their bug-themed band's name, The Beatles, was chosen partly in homage to Holly's Crickets.)[26]

A 17-year-old Bob Dylan attended the January 31, 1959 show, two nights before Holly's death. Dylan referred to this in his 1998 Grammy acceptance speech for his Time Out of Mind being named Album of the Year:

"And I just want to say that when I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I went to see Buddy Holly play at Duluth National Guard Armory and I was three feet away from him…and he LOOKED at me. And I just have some sort of feeling that he was – I don't know how or why – but I know he was with us all the time we were making this record in some kind of way."[30]

Keith Richards attended one of Holly's performances, where he heard "Not Fade Away" for the first time.[citation needed] The Rolling Stones had an early hit covering the song.

The launch of Bobby Vee's successful musical career resulted from Holly's death, when he was selected to replace Holly on the tour that continued after the plane crash. Holly's profound influence on Vee's singing style can be heard in such songs as "Rubber Ball" (the flip side of which was a cover of Holly's "Everyday") and "Run to Him."[citation needed]

Holly influenced many other singers during and after a career that lasted barely two years. Keith Richards once said Holly had "an influence on everybody."[31] In an August 24, 1978, Rolling Stone interview, Bruce Springsteen told Dave Marsh, "I play Buddy Holly every night before I go on; that keeps me honest."[32]

The Grateful Dead performed "Not Fade Away" 530 times over the course of their career, making it their seventh most-performed song.[citation needed] The song also appears on eight of their official live recording releases.

So, while short in performing time, the influence of the Crickets has been felt far beyond their sadly truncated career.  (See "When the Music Died")


Implications to Marketers

When launching a new product or feature, or even re-branding an existing product, capturing the lead company, or influencer in your target market segment is the key to long term success. This company/influencer may not be the largest, or the fastest growing, or the most well known. It is, however, the company/influencer that all others look to and try to emulate.

In capturing this company/influencer margin is not an objective, and customer service goes way beyond their otherwise high standards to make sure that everything is perfect. In short, capturing this account, person, company is a goal of the company, driven by Marketing and implemented by Sales.

So while a healthy debate can continue as to the Greatest Rock and Roll band of all time, Marketers must focus on the influencers in their target markets to ensure success.




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