Now this is hard for me to realize--fifty-nine years ago this July 4th--I saw Buddy Holly at Buck Lake in Angola, Indiana. An outdoor picnic type park. It was a great day.
Last week I visited Clovis, New Mexico and the studio (Norman Petty) where Holly did his first recordings. Then on to Lubbock, Texas Buddy's home and visited the museum there. Excellent both.
Buddy played in my home state three times.
*April 29, 1958 In Evansville, Indiana --He and Chuck Berry- Holly probably played more tour dates with Berry than anyone else
*July 4, 1958 Buck Lake, Angola, Indiana on the bill with him was Frankie Avalon
*October 9, 1958 In Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indiana theater
In 1958 Buddy Holly and the Crickets played twenty-four dates in England--Paul McCarthy told Buddy's two brothers, Travis and Larry, "There would never have been any Beatles if there had not been a Buddy Holly."
Scroll on down..something I wrote a few years ago on Holly's birthday in September Sept 7 is Holly's birthday....hard to believe had he lived he would be 81 years old now......Sept 7, 2017 I took this picture in Clear Lake, Iowa when I went out there for the three day festival in remembrance of Valens, the Big Bopper and Holly. What a great time it was. They have named the street after Holly that runs in front of the Surf Ballroom the location where these three last performed. By the way it was 17 below zero and 18 inches of snow while I was there. It did not effect the crowd at all. It might have been cool outside but it was rockin' and warm inside.
This Sunday September 7th is Buddy Holly's birthday. Had he lived he would be 78 years old. For me those great rock-n'-rollers never get old and they certainly don't die. Check out the cassette player in my 65' Corvette right now and Holly will be playing sometime during that drive. No, they don't age. Below is something I wrote on Sept 7, 2011.
Just some thoughts:
If he was still living today Buddy Holly would be 75 years old. He was born September 7, 1936.
I remember it like it was yesterday, February 3, 1959. I was a junior in high school and for some unknown reason our basketball coach cut basketball practice short that day, releasing the mighty Pimento Peppers to the public early that afternoon. We probably had "peeked" and he could do nothing further for our upcoming Friday night battle with the Prairie Creek Gophers.
As I walked into my bedroom that late afternoon, I turned on the little Philco radio sitting on the stand next to my bed only to hear the report of the death of three "rock-n-rollers," Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and Buddy Holly. All three along with the twenty-one year old pilot, Roger Peterson, lost their lives in a small plane crash after doing a show in Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly was just twenty-two at the time. He has had a lasting effect on music, especially the early British invasion - The Stones, The Beatles, etc. For us kids Holly was like no other teen music person. He was not particularly good looking. In fact he appeared a bit nerdy with his black horn rimmed glasses. He even wore white socks when on stage. But when his music started, that “nerd” tag quickly disappeared for us. He and his group, the Crickets, came out of Lubbock, Texas. One fella even wrote a song about Holly's passing and told us that this was "The day the music died."
Still to this day, over fifty years later, every year in Clear Lake, Iowa they have a three day rock n roll festival. It takes place at the Surf Ballroom in memory and tribute to that last show the three did. Not long ago I drove from my home in Tennessee to the festival in Iowa, having no idea what to expect. One, I did not expect the weather I experienced, arriving to eighteen inches of snow and minus seventeen below. Even I thought, "One has to be a bit crazy to do this." Well, about three thousand crazy folks and I would show up each night (late into the night-early into the morning) to take in the sights and sounds from that era. It was great. Speaking of crazy, while there I even went out to the cornfield of Elsie and Albert Juhl's farm where the crash of the plane is marked with a small monument. Yes, yes I did.
I was almost 17 years old when Holly died and now I'm almost 70. On Monday night, September 12th, I will be standing in front of a stage at a ballroom in Green Bay, Wisconsin; and yeah, it will be like going back to another 1957 four day rock n roll festival. At 9:45 p.m. I will see the "Original" Crickets on stage; and who knows, maybe ole Peggy Sue will even be there...
Raining In My Heart
The sun is out, the sky is blue
There's not a cloud to spoil the view
But it's raining, raining in my heart
The weather man says clear today
He doesn't know you've gone away
And it's raining, raining in my heart
I guess maybe some of us just never grow up.
September 7, 2011