Harold David Box (August 11, 1943 – October 23, 1964) was an American rock musician in the early 1960s.
David Box was born into a musical family (his father, Harold Box, was a western swing fiddler) in the small town of Sulphur Springs in East Texas. In 1945, the Box family moved to Lubbock, where David would live for the next 17 years. On his ninth birthday, his parents bought him an acoustic guitar. He showed great determination in his efforts to master the art of guitar playing. Having growing up with country music, David's horizons were widened with the advent of rock 'n' roll in the 1950s.
He became a regular spectator at Radio KDAV's weekly Sunday Party, where he watched the development of Buddy Holly, who became his role model. He was a founder-member of the Rhythm Teens, later the Ravens, a group styled on the Crickets. They cut several demos in February-April 1960. Two of these were sent to Jerry Allison (the drummer of the Crickets), which resulted in David and his band-mate Ernie Hall being invited to record with the Crickets, who were looking for a vocalist after Sonny Curtis had been drafted. On his 17th birthday, David recorded "Peggy Sue Got Married" and his own song "Don't Cha Know" (co-written with Ernie Hall) as lead vocalist with the Crickets. The two recordings (issued on Coral 62238 in November 1960) fulfilled the Crickets' contractual obligations with Coral, before they moved on to Liberty Records.
In 1961 David signed with Ted Groebl's Joed label in Big Spring, TX, first only as a songwriter. David's first solo professional recording session was on April 5, 1962, in Nashville. While there, David stayed at the home of Roy Orbison, in whom he found his next great influence. Box recorded two songs by the trio of Roy Orbison, Joe Melson and Ray Rush : "I've Had My Moments" and "If You Can't Say Something Nice", with top session musicians (Bob Moore, Pig Robbins, Ray Edenton). David thought that his big break had come. Reality was something else. Joed eventually leased the recordings to a small California label, Candix. Apart from a positive review in Billboard on August 18, 1962, the recordings received no further promotion, excellent as they were. " Three releases on Joed, in 1962-64, also suffered from ineffective promotion.
David graduated from Lubbock High School on June 1, 1962. Sensibly seeking a possible alternative to music, he enrolled on a correspondence course with the School of American Art in Westport, Connecticut. This was completed in the summer of 1964, after which he had more time for touring. He had come to realize the limitations of being signed to a small independent label that had never had a hit record. On his 21st birthday, he was able to take control of his legal affairs, cancelling his contract with Joed. Thanks to Ray Rush, Box was signed to RCA Victor, a major label. David and Ray were invited to travel to Nashville on October 24 for their first RCA session.
Meanwhile, David worked with a local band named Buddy and the Kings : Buddy Groves (vocal/guitar), Carl Banks (bass) and Bill Daniels (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, probably due to a defective fuel gauge. There were no survivors. After the sad news broke in Lubbock the Box's first visitors were Buddy Holly's parents. Mr Holley hugged Harold Box and said simply "It's better you should know this now; people will tell you that time heals the pain but it doesn't".
David Box didn't live long enough to reach his full potential. He took his music very seriously and although he was heavily influenced by Buddy Holly, he was extremely talented in his own right. In 2006 David was inducted into Lubbock's "Walk of Fame".