By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Musician Jerry Allison, who played alongside Buddy Holly in American rock band The Crickets, has died.
The drummer, who is credited with co-writing hits including That’ll Be the Day and Peggy Sue, died on Monday aged 82.
His death was announced on the official Buddy Holly Facebook page, with a statement paying tribute to Allison as a “musician ahead of his time”.
“Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Jerry ‘JI’ Allison, drummer in the Crickets, one of Buddy’s very closest friends, and the inspiration to drummers for decades since, who passed away today at the age of 82,” the statement read.
“JI was a musician ahead of his time, and undoubtedly his energy, ideas and exceptional skill contributed to both The Crickets, and rock n’ roll itself, becoming such a success.
“Buddy is often heralded as the original singer-songwriter, but JI, too, wrote and inspired so many of the songs that would go on to be eternal classics.”
The Crickets were formed by singer-songwriter Holly in January 1957.
Their first hit record, That’ll Be the Day was released in May 1957 and peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 100 chart in September that year.
The cover of their first album, The ‘Chirping’ Crickets, showed the band line-up at the time of Holly, Allison, Niki Sullivan, and Joe B Mauldin.
Of that four, Allison was the last living member with Sullivan and Mauldin having died in 2004 and 2017, respectively.
Holly himself died in an air crash in 1959, aged only 22.
The Crickets, who also at one time included country musician Waylon Jennings, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th,Jerry Allison 2012.