Sad news of Joe B's death


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Staff member
Apr 24, 2008
the BEAT March 2015
(shamelessly ripped off from "the BEAT" March e-newsletter)

FURTHER PROOF that our rock’n’roll heroes are not immortal, as we thought, shows with the passing of legendary rock’n’roll bass-player Joe B Mauldin. For me, this one is closer to my heart as Joe was, of course, the original bass-player with my all-time favourite band, The Crickets. After battling cancer, Joe B died on the morning of February 7, ironically just four days after the so-called ‘day the music died’ when Cricket co-founder and singer Buddy Holly was killed in 1959.

Born in Lubbock, West Texas, Joe Benson Mauldin joined The Crickets, Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison and Niki Sullivan, at the age of 17 just after the band had recorded their first hit That’ll Be The Day. With the record’s success, young Joe B and co were whisked away, up into superstardom with international tours, TV and more classic hits like Oh Boy!, Maybe Baby, It’s So Easy and Think It Over.

Consolidating their success were the records credited to just Buddy Holly, although Joe B and Jerry Allison played on most of them, such as Peggy Sue, Everyday, Rave On and Heartbeat. As a self-contained group, they wrote and recorded all their own material with Joe B’s contribution to the Crickets/Holly catalogue being Well Alright, I’m Gonna Love You Too, and Last Night.

Many British fans will never forget seeing the baby-faced Joe B with Buddy and drummer Jerry Allison in person when they toured here in March 1958, influencing many of our own rock’n’roll heroes to take up the call.

Following their split with Buddy in 1958, Joe B, Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis continued as The Crickets with more classics of their own like When You Ask About Love, Love’s Made A Fool Of You, I Fought The Law and More Than I Can Say. Between 1959 and 1960, The Crickets worked as the backing band for The Everly Brothers before Joe B left the group to pursue other business interests, including a trucking company and running a nightclub. With various other recruits, Jerry Allison steered the band through the various musical phases of the 60s and 70s.

After a stint in the US Army, Joe returned to the music business working as a studio engineer at the legendary Goldstar Studios in Hollywood with people like Herb Alpert, Leon Russell and the eccentric Phil Spector. In 1976 Joe B rejoined Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis as The Crickets, appearing at various US Rock’n’Roll Revival events. In 1977, the group returned to the UK and to a hero’s welcome for their appearance at the annual Buddy Holly Week festivities. Of special significance was the fact that this was the first time Joe B had been back to this country since touring with Buddy Holly in 1958. Since then, Joe B and J I Allison have maintained the band’s legendary status on numerous British tours and various recordings, with Joe B continuing to lay down those solid bass-lines.

Having received a number of honours and awards as musicians, The Crickets’ place in rock’n’roll history was finally, and long overdue, recognised with their induction into the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2012. Not just my rock’n’roll (and boyhood) heroes, I’m proud to say that over the years I have got to know The Crickets as friends, and in my memory are many wonderful times with them. I can also reiterate what everybody who has met Joe B Mauldin, all say about him. Whether they be long-standing fans and/or fellow artists, such as Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, he was one of the nicest and gentlest people on this planet. For me and many others, with the loss of Joe B it won’t be the same.

Joe B. Mauldin is on left with Sonny Curtis and J.I. Allison
crickets march 2015.jpg
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