Although Curtis had gone on the road with other musicians by the time Buddy Holly put together The Crickets in 1957, Curtis joined The Crickets after Holly's death in 1959, and soon took over the lead vocalist role in addition to lead guitar. As the credits show, he was part of the band for the 1960 album In Style with The Crickets for which they recorded the original versions of two of Curtis's best known songs, "I Fought the Law" and "More Than I Can Say" (co-written with drummer Jerry Allison). He has continued to record and perform intermittently as part of the band over six decades, most recently in their album "The Crickets and their Buddies" (2004) where they reprised most of their hits with help from many noted fellow musicians. Curtis did leave the band several times to pursue his solo career but even during those periods made occasional guest appearances, in performance and on record, with The Crickets. His song "The Real Buddy Holly Story" was written in response to the inaccuracies in the movie The Buddy Holly Story. In 1964 he released the single : 'A Beatle I want to be'.
In 2012, Curtis 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.