David Box Biography

After the death of Buddy Holly, the Crickets used various lead singers on their records. One was David Box who sang lead on the Crickets' recording of "Peggy Sue Got Married".

Harold David Box was born in Sulphur Springs on 11 August 1943. In 1945 the family moved to Lubbock. David made his first public appearance aged 3 or 4 singing 'Jole Blon' and 'If I Had A Nickel '. His father taught him to play guitar and bought one as an 8th birthday present. By 1954 David was a keen Buddy Holly fan and often watched open air performances from Radio KDAV. In 1958 he formed the Ravens, a group styled on the Crickets with David vocal/guitars, Lynn Bailey bass and Ernie Hall drums. They cut some demos at Mitchell Studio in Lubbock.

Tracks included Look at me, Ting A Ling, Don't Cha Know and Sweet, Sweet Day. With the help of Sinda Taylor and Ralna English they put down Not Going Steady and High School Angel. Ernie Hall was a close neighbour of Jerry Allison's parents and heard that the Crickets needed a vocalist to replace Sonny Curtis, who had been drafted into the Army. The band sent a demo to Jerry and they were invited to Los Angeles to audition. Coral files indicate that the recordings were purchased on 16 August. The Box/Hall composition Don't Cha Know featured david on vocals/lead guitar, Joe B on bass, Ernie Hall on drums and Jerry on rythum guitar. The band wanted Peggy Sue Got Married to follow the original Peggy Sue arrangement so Jerry reverted to drums. The recordings were put on a three track tape machine with the harmony vocals isolated on one of the tracks. The songs became the last Cricket singles to be issued on Coral - and one of the very best released after Buddy died, certainly the arrangement on peggy Sue Got Married is far better than any of those added to Buddy's demo version. David & Ernie had about 3 weeks in L.A. apparently helping the Crickets on gigs with Bobby Vee and Larry (Mr Custer) Verne. In the long departed Rockpile magazine respected jounalist Jim Liddane reported having heard a live recording of David singing Heartbeat, What to do and several ballads but all attempts to confirm this have failed. The boys then returned to Lubbock to finish their schooling.

David's father was a good friend of ex Lubbock DJ Ben Hall who had set up a recording studio in Big Spring, 105 miles south of Lubbock. David made many trips there and ben arranged a deal with ted Groebl who owned the local Joed label. David was introduced to Roy Orbison, Joe Melson and Peanuts Wilson, all of whoom cut unreleased demos for Ben.

The first single issued under david's name was waitin/Do the best I can (Joed 717) and is an extremely rare disc. Doug Walding, whose conections with the Crickets span three decades, co wrote Waitin' with Roland Pike. The other known recordings from the sessions are a second unissued Sweet, Sweet Day and the totally unissued That's All I Want From You. All 4 songs have since appeared on the Rollercoaster CD Hep Cats From Big Spring (RCCD 3003) A David Box/Roland Pike composition,Travelin' Light, appeared on an album by the Levee Brothers (Levee 775), recorded at the Sumit Studio in Dallas.

David left school in 1962 and enrolled in the School of American Art in Westport, Conn'. He studied under Norman Rockwell, America's most famous artist. The Box home contains many fine examples of David's artistic skills. It is interesting to reflect how many musicians are talented artists (Buddy). Westport is about 2000 miles from Big Spring so it made sence for David to record in Nashville where Roy Orbison was based. He stayed at Roy's home and used his band, fronted by Bob Moore. Ray Rush continyed to produce. The second Joed single coupled If' You Can't Say Something Nice with another recording of Sweet Sweet day. Something Nice picked up some airplay and was picked up by Candix who used I've Had My Moments as the flip. As a result of this single David did a tour opening for the Everly Brothers but his biggest thrill was a phone call from Chet Atkins complementing him on his discs Early in 1964 David returned to Nashville to cut the superb Peggy Sue styled Little Lonely Summer Girl. His parents recall being woken by a phone call from an excited David telling them that he and Roy (Orbison) had just finished a version of Maybe Baby. Sadly it wasn't issued and has never been traced.

In the summer of 1964 Dvid left college and had more time for touring. He went up the Eastern seaboard as far as Northern Canada. Inexplicably Summer Girl never charted nationally but did well in several regions especially Houston when it went top 10 in all radio playlists. This was partly due to Ray Rush, having moved to Houston to work for the International Artists label, promoting the disc. Taking advantage of the situation David flew to the city fot a few interviews and gigs. He worked with local band Buddy and the Kings. Buddy Groves vocal/guitar, Carl Banks bass and Bill Daniels presumably on drums. Daniels was a qualified pilot and the quartet hired a Cesna Skyhawk 172 to take them to a gig in Harris County on 23 October 1964. The plane crashed nose first and overturned on the return flight. There were no survivers. On 24 October David and Ray had been scheduled to fly to Nashville to record two of the songs David had written in Lubbock Not Going Steady and High School Angel.

After the sad news broke in Lubbock the Bos's first visitors were Buddy Holly's parents. Mr Holley hugged Harold and said simply "It's better you should know this now; people will tell you that time heals the pain but it doesn't"

Thanks to John Ingman.

David Box Main Page
David Box Biography
David Box Discography