David Box: Age 22 | Cause Of Death: AIRPLANE CRASH/ HELICOPTER

(b. Harold David Box, Sulphur Springs on 11 August 1943; d. 23 October 1964)

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”…The song was among the last Cricket singles to be issued on Coral – and one of the very best released after Buddy died…David also 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 . The plane crashed nose first and overturned on the return flight. There were no survivers.

Fuller Up The Dead Musicians Directory

David Box

David Box
Age: 22
Died: Oct 23, 1964


"David loved music! He had an unending appetite for it" — Rita Box Peek (David's sister)

David Box : Listen on Real Audio

“David loved music! He had an unending appetite for it”
— Rita Box Peek (David’s sister)

David Box is best known for his vocals on “Peggy Sue Got Married” but he was much more than just a Buddy Holly replacement. Never reaching his full potential his brief career only gives us hints of what may have been.

Born in 1943 into a musical family Harold David Box was to grow up in an environment where singing and music were a way of life. Given this background it’s not surprising that he developed a well formed singing voice from a very early age. To develop David’s musical abilities further his father, who was a seasoned fiddle player, bought him a guitar, taught him his initial chords and then left him to discover the instrument himself.

David drove himself to learn as much about the possibilities in a guitar as possible, singing along as he developed structure and rhythms. Aside from his family, the biggest influence on David’s playing came along in the form of local boy, Buddy Holly; being from the same town meant that David could see Buddy play live from the very beginning of his career. It was this local success story that spurred David on to concentrate on a musical career, while he was a gifted artist he saw commercial art more as a safety net than a calling. In 1958 he formed the Ravens, a group in the style of the Crickets, and they cut some demos at the local studio. These demos were to give David his first break when he was asked to sing with the Crickets on the strength of the recordings. It was at this session that the Cricket’s version of the classic “Peggy Sue Got Married” was recorded; with David on vocals this is considered to be one of the best songs released by the Crickets after Buddy’s death.

After his session with the Crickets, David returned to Lubbock and completed his schooling. His dream of music hadn’t been extinguished however and thanks to family connections he was to meet, amongst others, Roy Orbison who became not only of his musical influences but also his friend.

After leaving school in 1962, David relocated to Westport where he was studying at the American School of Art. David now recorded in Nashville and after his release “Something Nice” was picked up by local radio stations he found himself on tour with the Everly Brothers. Using this experience he started to hone his studio skills, and in early 1964 recorded “Little Lonely Summer Girl” in Nashville.

After leaving art school David toured the eastern seaboard, whilst on tour “Little Lonely Summer Girl” became a localized hit, especially in and around Houston. To promote the single more fully David traveled to Houston. While he was there he played some gigs and worked alongside the local band Buddy and the Kings where he played gigs. Flying to a local gig in October 1964 the plane crashed and everyone on board was killed — David was only 21 years old.

– The 2002 CD release the “David Box Story” has Roy Orbison featuring on some of the backing vocals.

– The West Texas Music Hall of Fame has David in its Best of the West Texas Century for his work with the Crickets and the Ravens.



David Box

 Harold David Box, b. 11 August 1943, Sulphur Springs; d. 23 October 1964

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.


a) with the Crickets

USA Coral 62238 / UK Coral Q72417 Isuued late 1960

L 12240 Don’t Cha Know (Box,Hall)

L 12241 Peggy Sue Got Married (Holly)

b) David Box solo

USA Joed 717 Issued early 1962

N09W 2707 I Do The Best I Can (Walding, Pike)

N09W 2708 Waitin’ (Rush, Bailey)

USA Joed 114 / UK London 9874 Issued 1962

45 – 139 If You Can’t Say Something Nice (Orbison, Melson, Rush)

45 – 140 Sweet, Sweet Day (Box,Pike)

USA Candix 339 Issued late 1962

CDB 101 If You Can’t Say Something Nice (Orbison, Melson, Rush)

CDB 102 I’ve Had My Moments (Orbison, Melson, Rush)

and in New Zealand on Viking VS-88

USA Joed 116 / UK London 9924 Issued 1964

45 – 143 Little Lonely Summer Girl (Box,Pike)

45 – 144 No-one Will Ever Know (Rose, Foree)