- As a teen, performed in the country-rock duo Buddy & Bob and in a trio that opened for Elvis Presley in 1955.
- Dropped the "e" from his surname after a typo in a recording contract.
- Proposed to Maria Elena Santiago, a receptionist at a record label, on their first date.
- Was killed in a February 3, 1959, plane crash that also claimed the lives of musicians J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and Ritchie Valens, who were touring as part of the Winter Dance Party.
- Date of the plane crash came to be known as "The Day the Music Died," after it was memorialized in Don McClean's 1971 hit "American Pie."
- Publishing rights to Holly's song catalog were acquired by well-known fan Paul McCartney in the mid-'70s.
- Along with Chuck Berry, James Brown and Ray Charles, was included in the inaugural Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class in 1986.
- Charted a number of enduring hits during his brief career, including "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue" and "Oh, Boy!"