Mauldin became the bassist in the group The Crickets, which included Buddy Holly and drummer Jerry Allison and guitarist Niki Sullivan. But the first rock band he played in was The Four Teens of Lubbock in 1955. He appears to have recorded with this group (that included the recording artist Terry Noland) in Dallas, prior to his recording with Buddy Holly in Clovis, NM. Since Holly's death in 1959 he has played on and off as an original Cricket with J.I. Allison, Sonny Curtis, Glen D. Hardin and with Niki Sullivan on occasion. He has also been inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame in Lubbock and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, TN as an original Cricket. In 2012, Mauldin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Crickets by a special committee, aimed at correcting the mistake of not including the Crickets with Buddy Holly when he was first inducted in 1986.