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Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 Added to 'Guitar Gallery' Exhibition at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)
Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

An iconic instrument from the hands of singer-songwriter Buddy Holly has been added to the Guitar Gallery at the Museum of Pop Culture, where visitors will find the early rock 'n' roll pioneer's ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45. The guitar is cased in a decorative leather which Holly handcrafted himself, featuring his name, his home state of Texas, and the titles of the A and B side songs from his 1956 single: "Love Me" and "Blue Days Black Nights."

Holly, whose life was tragically cut short in a 1959 plane crash, had a formative influence on a generation of musicians, including the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Rolling Stones. Singer-songwriter Graham Nash also considered Holly an influence, as he relayed to an audience at MoPOP during the recording of an oral history live in 2010.

"I loved his music," says Nash. "It's insanely simple, but it's timeless. I think we all agree on that; Buddy Holly's music is timeless."

During that same session at MoPOP, Nash was presented with Holly's Gibson J-45 and played "Peggy Sue," one of Holly's most memorable songs. 

"I think part of the process of this whole thing is to get as close to the flame as you can get without being burned," he says. "And I'm very close to the flame right now of this particular thing. I mean, this is Buddy Holly's guitar on which he wrote most of his famous songs. I mean, Buddy's hands are... I'm tripping out here, I'm sorry."

Check out Nash's reaction in the video above, browse the photos of Holly's guitar below, and make sure to catch an up-close-and-personal look at the instrument on your next trip to MoPOP!

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

 

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

Buddy Holly guitar at MoPOP

Buddy Holly ca. 1943/44 Gibson J-45 guitar (MoPOP Permanent Collection, gift of Michael and Barbara Malone)

 


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If you like what you see, support our work by making a donation or planning a visit to MoPOP today!

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The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.

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