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The Crickets: Members of the band best known for backing Buddy Holly named in the 1950s after consulting encyclopaedias. Founder Niki Sullivan said he found a page about insects. One earlier group had been named The Spiders. Remarkably, they considered Beetles. "Jerry [Allison, drummer] said, 'Aw, that's just a bug you'd want to step on,' so we immediately dropped that." They chose Crickets as a joke "because they make a happy sound ... they make music with their legs".
Their 1957 album carried through the insect reference, being titled The 'Chirping' Crickets. The band members were not very bothered about its double-meaning - it also could refer to the English sport, never very popular in the United States.
In fact it was this very double meaning which not many years later helped inspire The Beatles, great admirers of Holly (though the Britons were unaware he could have had their name first!)
The moniker was needed partly because Holly's could not be used for their first recording: DECCA had an option on him, although the company showed no sign of picking it up. It was needed only to disguise his presence.
They were initially doubtful about the name, even considering The Cotton Club as an alternative. (Cf The Cotton Club.) During one of their early tours, staying in Corpus Christi in 1957, Holly and his friends were given a hotel room infested with crickets - which they took as a good omen.
There was another omen during the summer of 1957, while they were recording I'm Gonna Love You Too. A cricket got into the echo chamber. On the last version, its chirping came only on the fade-out and at the right tempo. The Crickets kept its sound and this reinforced their commitment to the name.
Both the hotel and studio incidents actually happened, although it's wrong to say - as several books have done - that they inspired the moniker, which had already been around for some time.
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