A member of the 1950s rock ‘n’ roll band Buddy Holly and the Crickets has died. Niki Sullivan joined Holly’s band in 1956 as one of the original members of the Crickets. Sullivan’s rhythm guitar can be heard on 27 of Holly’s 32 songs recorded, including “Maybe Baby”, “Oh Boy”, “Not Fade Away” and “That’ll Be the Day”. Sullivan exited the group at the end of 1957 just after the Crickets appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. Sullivan was not with Holly in Clear Lake the night Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper performed at the Surf Ballroom in February 1959, with the three later dying in a plane crash northwest of the Mason City Airport. Sullivan though came to Clear Lake and was one of the headline performers at the first Buddy Holly Tribute event back in 1979 at the Surf. Sullivan recently retired from his job with the Sony Corporation, and died Tuesday night in his sleep at home in Sugar Creek Missouri. The 66-year-old Sullivan is survived by his wife Fran and his twin sons Eryn and Marty, who briefly operated a bar in Clear Lake.
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