December 08, 2008 11:44 ET

Smithereens Frontman Pat DiNizio to Release Tribute to Buddy Holly on January 27, 2009

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 8, 2008) - Smithereens frontman and avid pop music historian Pat DiNizio is set to release "Pat DiNizio/Buddy Holly," a heartfelt tribute to the legendary rock and roll pioneer, on January 27th, 2009, in honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Holly's tragic death in a Clear Lake, Iowa plane crash on "The Day The Music Died" (February 3, 1959).

DiNizio says, "Buddy Holly changed and saved my life! Upon hearing Buddy's one and only solo album for the first time back in the late 1970s, I was so moved, and found his music to be so incredibly touching and poignant, that I sat there and wept openly. I knew right then and there, that night, while listening to the haunting and innocent beauty of his recordings, as well as the purity of intent, and the 'straight to the heart' simplicity of melody and lyric in his songs, that this was what I wanted to do -- I wanted to be a songwriter. And if I was going to be a songwriter, I wanted to be a songwriter like Buddy Holly. I had finally found my role model, and there was no other choice for me. The very next day I quit my job on the garbage truck, and drove through a massive snowstorm from New Jersey to upstate New York to a friend's empty house in the Catskills with an acoustic guitar, cassette tape recorder, collegiate notebook, pencil, record player, and a stack of 45s and record albums, determined not to return home until I figured out how to write songs. A few months later we started The Smithereens…"

Acclaimed by Allmusic Guide critic Bruce Eder as "the single most influential creative force in early rock & roll," Buddy Holly was an early inspiration of an astonishing host of artists ranging from British legends The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Hollies, Steve Winwood (Blind Faith), and Elvis Costello to American singer-songwriters like James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Phil Ochs and Don McLean, to rock bands including The Grateful Dead, Weezer, Blink-182, The Ramones... and The Smithereens.

In the Smithereens' earliest days, Buddy Holly's producer Norman Petty was one of the first to provide them encouragement and advice. For the past 25 years with The Smithereens, DiNizio has written and recorded Gold and Platinum albums that spawned Top 40 radio hits such as "A Girl Like You," "Too Much Passion," "Blood And Roses," "Only A Memory" and "Behind The Wall Of Sleep." Buddy Holly's love affair with his wife was the subject of the song "Maria Elena," from their 1989 classic album, "11."

This project is particularly notable for its rich string arrangements, which were created by the legendary Charles Calello, famed for his work with The Four Seasons, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen and Laura Nyro. The album also features legendary 60s pop hitmaker Bobby Vee (who replaced Buddy on the ill-fated Winter Dance Party tour that took Buddy's life) on lead harmonies and vocals on "Listen To Me"; and guitars and production by long-time Smithereens collaborator Kurt Reil of the Gripweeds and Buzzed Meg.

Standout tracks include a lush version of "Words of Love," a guitar-driven "Heartbeat," and a doo-wop a cappella rendition of "That'll Be The Day." The album's extensive liner notes include an essay by noted Buddy Holly authority Bill Griggs along with reminiscences by pop icon Bobby Vee.

DiNizio and his fellow Smithereens are currently in the studio recording tracks for the mid-2009 KOCH Records release of their first all-new album of original songs since 1999's "God Save The Smithereens." In January, they will embark on an extensive tour schedule that will include over 100 solo and group dates in Europe and North America.

The tracklisting:

1.  Words Of Love
2.  It Doesn't Matter Anymore
3.  Heartbeat
4.  Well Alright
5.  True Love Ways
6.  Listen To Me
7.  Raining In My Heart
8.  Learning The Game
9.  Everyday
10. Peggy Sue
11. That'll Be The Day

About KOCH Entertainment

KOCH Entertainment, founded in 1987 and now in its twenty-second year, is the leading and fastest-growing independent music company in the U.S. KOCH's operations encompass record and video labels, music publishing as well as distribution companies in the U.S. and Canada. KOCH Entertainment is the market leader among independent labels and distributors in both the U.S. and Canada. Its record label KOCH Records is the # 1 independent label in the U.S. and had the largest number of Billboard charting albums among independents for seven years in a row (2001 - 2007). KOCH Entertainment is a subsidiary of Entertainment One Ltd. which is listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market (ticker symbol "ETO.L").

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Giovanna Melchiorre
    212-353-8800 x257
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