Buddy Holly - The Apartment Tapes

  In December 1958, Buddy Holly bought an Ampex tape recorder from Norman Petty. Buddy Holly used this tape recorder in his New York City apartment to record rough takes of new songs that he was writing. In February 1959, as we all know, Buddy Holly died in a plane crash along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson. Many people believe that "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" and "True Love Ways" were Buddy Holly's last songs.
  After his death, Buddy Holly's tape recorder was located in his apartment building. On this tape, there were 14 full songs that Buddy Holly recorded. The songs were, in general, very clear and very personal. Most were just Buddy Holly and his acoustic guitar. These songs were truly Buddy Holly's last songs.
  The original tapes were given to two producers, Jack Hansen and Norman Petty. Both producers used the recordings and overdubbed them with a full band so the songs would be more radio-friendly. These versions of the songs were released to the public, and some of the songs even became hits. But the original raw recordings Buddy Holly made in his apartment never saw an official release.

  It is very hard to find the original, raw, recordings of the tapes. They can be found on various fan-made bootleg CDs. To the general public, however, the songs are vastly unknown. When I originally found out about these recordings, I immediately started looking for them. It surprised me how long it took to actually find the original recordings that Buddy Holly recorded himself. Once I finally found the recordings online, I decided to make this website so other Buddy Holly fans can gain easy access to what I think are Holly's best recordings. Share these with your friends, and download them all you want. These songs should not be hidden from the public for as long as they have been.

As far as I have researched, what I have included on this website are the complete tapes. If this is not complete, you see an error, or you have additional input that you feel I should add to this website, feel free to email me at "weirdedsel {at} gmail [dot] com".

The Apartment Tapes:

You can click on each song individually, or download all of them at once in a .zip file by clicking here.

1. That's What They Say (version 1) [Recorded Dec. 3, 1958] 0:35
    Note: Buddy stops half way through the song.
2. That's What They Say (version 2) [Recorded Dec. 3, 1958] 1:15
3. What To Do [Recorded Dec. 3, 1958] 1:56
4. Peggy Sue Got Married [Recorded Dec. 5, 1958] 1:49
5. That Makes It Tough [Recorded Dec. 8, 1958] 2:16
6. Crying, Waiting, Hoping [Recorded Dec. 14, 1958] 1:51
7. Learning The Game [Recorded Dec. 17, 1958] 1:33
The following were recorded sometime between Jan. 1-19, 1959
8. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie 1:15
9. Slippin' And Slidin' (version 1) 3:09
    Note: You can hear lots of ambient noise in this one. Sounds like someone is putting plates away in the kitchen.
10. Slippin' And Slidin' (version 2) 3:11
    Note: Bad recording quality on this one, but audible. Buddy is using his electric guitar instead of his acoustic. At 1:01 something sounds like it drops and Buddy stops, but then continues to play.
11. Slippin' And Slidin' (version 3) 3:34
    Note: Good quality on this track. You can still hear the clinks of plates in the background.
12. Slippin' And Slidin' (version 4) 1:26
    Note: A much faster version than the others.
13. Drown In My Own Tears 0:20
    Note: This track is in fragments. It wasn't recorded properly.
14. Maria Elena 3:44
    Note: This is all ambient noise of the apartment. You have to turn the volume up to hear a lot of it. Most of it is Buddy's wife, Maria Elena, talking. Buddy and Maria are just playing around with the recorder.
15. Dearest (version 1) 1:14
    Note: Acoustic Guitar
16. Dearest (version 2) 1:53
    Note: Electric Guitar
17. Love Is Strange 1:42
18. Smokey Joe's Cafe (version 1) 2:13
19. Smokey Joe's Cafe (version 2) 2:29
    Note: Bad quality recording. Buddy talks to someone at the end.
20. Buddy's Guitar 1:22
    Note: Instrumenal
21. Slippin' And Slidin' (half-speed version 1) 1:35
    Note: Buddy purposely recorded these last three tracks at half-speed.
22. Slippin' And Slidin' (half-speed version 2) 1:35
23. Slippin' And Slidin' (half-speed version 3) 1:47

You're The One [Recorded Dec. 27, 1958 at KLLL Radio] 1:33
    Note: Buddy visited his hometown in Lubbock, TX for Christmas. He stopped by KLLL Radio. At the studio, someone bet Buddy to write a song in 30 minutes. Buddy accepted the bet and came back with this song. The radio station had their own tape recorder, and had Buddy record his new song. This song is not on Buddy's Apartment Tapes, but I include it here because it was written and recorded around the same time.

Buddy Holly's Promo For Winter Dance Party 1959
    Note: This is an advertisement read by Buddy Holly for the Winter Dance Party Tour in 1959. This is said to be his last recording.

Newscast About Plane Crash
    Note: Here is a radio newscast of the plane crash.

I will upload more interesting, unreleased, Buddy Holly sound files in the future if I find them.

If links do not work, or are slow, there is a mirror to this website located at http://www.rascalshow.com/buddy/buddy.html

Last Update: Feb. 3, 2009