Buddy Holly’s New York City Apartment Building

Buddy Holly had a very busy end to the year 1958.  He married his wife Maria Elena in August and officially moved to New York in September.  He then fired his manager and then officially left his band “The Crickets” in December.

The newlyweds settled in at:

The Brevoort Apartment 11 Fifth Avenue Apt. 4H, New York, New York

The Brevoort Buddy Holly Apartment Building New York

Buddy Holly Apartment The Brevoort 11 Fifth Avenue 4H new york

It was right here in this living room of this apartment that Holly recorded the series of acoustic songs on an Ampex reel-to-reel recorder, known as the “Apartment Tapes”, which included the songs “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” and “What to Do”.  Holly acquired the recorder from Norman Petty after he had upgraded his studio equipment in Clovis, New Mexico. Holly told him:

“I want the one that ‘Peggy Sue’ was recorded on; the one you carried to Oklahoma City.”

Buddy Holly Apartment Tapes 11 Fifth Avenue New York

This is what the Holly’s living room looks like now as it was recently put up for sale.

Inside Buddy Holly Apartment Building The Brevoort 11 Fifth Avenue New York

Little more than a week after making the recordings, Holly left his wife and his New York for the last time to join the fateful “Winter Dance Party” Tour.  February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J. P. Richardson “The Big Bopper” were killed instantly along with the pilot when their plane crashed at full throttle into a cornfield outside Mason City, Iowa, soon after take-off.

Coral Records later overdubbed additional tracks to Buddy’s demo of “Love Is Strange” and released it a decade after his death. The apartment tapes were finally released  in “Down the Line: Rarities” a 2009 compilation album including alternate takes and demos, including the original undubbed “garage tapes” with “The Crickets” and the “Apartment Tapes” recorded in the months before his death.

“Hearing Buddy’s familiar voice, via recordings such as these, has brought me inestimable comfort, for I feel justified in assuming that many of these songs were sung directly to me. It would be unforgivably selfish, however, for me not to want to share some of these treasured moments with you, the loyal friends who helped make Buddy’s fondest dreams a reality.” – Maria Elena Holly

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