Buddy Holly's The Crickets bassist Joe B. Mauldin, Jr. has passed away, aged 74.

The musician's manager Burt Stein has confirmed Mauldin, Jr. died in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday (07Feb15) after a battle with cancer.

His daughter, Jennifer Mauldin, says, "Our dad was not only the bass player of The Crickets, he was the bass player of our family. He kept our family's steady rhythm by 'locking-in' with our mother just as a good bass player locks in with his drummer. It's that foundation that comforts us all."

Mauldin played in a rock group called The Four Teens before joining Holly's The Crickets in 1957.

After Holly's death in a plane crash in 1959, the group continued without him, recording with an array of vocalists and releasing music into the 21st century.

Mauldin also served in the U.S. Army in the 1960s and worked as an engineer at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, collaborating with stars including Herb Alpert, Ike and Tina Turner and Phil Spector.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville and the West Texas Walk of Fame in his native Lubbock, Texas.