Holly's first opportunity in the music industry came when a scout from Decca Records saw the duo opening a local rock show for Bill Haley and the Comets. Decca signed Holly, alone, to produce a few singles. Afterward, however, Decca decided Holly wasn't quite ready yet, and they advised him to return to Lubbock and keep working on his music. Holly followed the advice, and with the help of some friends formed his own band, "The Crickets." Holly was the group's guitarist and vocalist. Much of the band's music was produced by Norman Petty's studios in Clovis, New Mexico. Among the songs they recorded was a lively version of "That'll Be the Day," which caught Decca's attention once again. From that moment on, the group's songs were released on Decca's subsidiary, the Brunswick label.
The group's music talent, together with Holly's unique "excited" style of singing, quickly made them a success. Songs such as "Maybe Baby," "Oh Boy!" and Holly's solo hit "Peggy Sue" became extremely popular, especially among teenagers.
Holly and the Crickets also entered areas of music such as rhythm and blues, which until then had been exclusive to black artists. Once they were even mistaken for a black group and booked to perform at the Apollo Theater. Although at first the band was booed, by their third day of performing they had become a hit.