b. Jerry Naylor Jackson, 6 March 1939, Stephenville, Texas, USA. Naylor sang country music from an early age; when aged only 14, he appeared on The Louisiana Hayride. While in the US Army, he broke his back, an injury that has continued to plague him. He befriended Glen Campbell in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and moved with him to Hollywood. He found work as a disc jockey and a single, ‘You’re Thirteen’, was released in the UK in 1961. Naylor joined Buddy Holly’s old group the Crickets in 1962 and featured on the series of singles they recorded for Liberty Records. In 1964, he had a heart attack, brought about, he says, ‘by the stress of being Buddy Holly’s replacement’. He played the leading role in a concept album, a country opera entitled The Legend Of Johnny Brown, in 1966. He returned to the Crickets for their 1971 album Rockin’ 50s Rock ‘N’ Roll, but mostly he has followed a solo career, making numerous singles for US labels including Motown Records’ country division. His best-known record is ‘Is This All There Is To A Honky Tonk?’ in 1975.
Naylor now works in television and public relations, and as a disc jockey in Angoura, California. He is known to Buddy Holly fans for his outrageous claims to have been a Cricket throughout their hitmaking years. Nevertheless, he was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 2000.