Joe B. Maudlin Will Not Fade Away

Joe B. Maudlin (Centre).jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

Bassist with the Crickets, Joe B. Maudlin, has died of cancer in Nashville,Tennessee at age 74. He passed away just days after the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly, his former boss (Februrary 3, 1959.) Mauldin, like Holly was a Lubbock, Texas, native, and took over bass duties from Larry Welborn just after the Crickets recorded their initial single, 1957′s ‘That’ll Be the Day’. Together they would release a string of hits in quick succession after ‘That’ll Be the Day’ topped the charts including ‘Oh, Boy!,’ ‘Maybe Baby,’ ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘Rave On,’  and that was only through 1958. “It did feel like everything was happening super fast,” Mauldin later was quoted as saying.

After Holly’s death Mauldin, Allison and early Holly collaborator Sonny Curtis were left to continue as the Crickets, using various vocalists. The trio also backed the Everly Brothers on a 1959-60 tour. Their version of ‘Don’t Ever Change,’ featuring Jerry Naylor,  reached  No.5 on the UK charts in 1962.

The Beatles at this point were huge fans. And Maudlin said, “It truly meant so much to me to have Paul McCartney tell me face to face - If there had not been the Crickets, there never would have been the Beatles.”

Maudlin left in 1965 to focus on studio engineering, with a home base out of the Los Angeles located Gold Star Studios. There he worked with Phil Spector, Herb Alpert, Ike and Tina Turner and Leon Russell, among others. Occasional reunions with Allison as the Crickets followed over the years — notably, a 2004 all-star album with Eric Clapton and Graham Nash titled ‘The Crickets and their Buddies’ — but little separate recognition followed, until 2012 when Mauldin and the rest of the Crickets joined 1996 inductee Buddy Holly in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by a special committee, aimed at correcting the mistake of not including the Crickets with Buddy Holly when he was first inducted in 1986.
Mauldin was also inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee as an original Cricket.

Rest is peace Joe B - your legacy will not fade away.