KCTV5 news reporter Amy Anderson transports you back to the Surf Ballroom and the Winter Dance Party.
Kansas City news reporter Amy Anderson and producer Zoe Brown interview two ‘teenagers’ who were at the Surf Ballroom on February 3, 1959 and then travel to Clear Lake, Iowa to file this exceptional story about ‘The Night The Music Died.’ Also, the story includes a connection to original Cricket rhythm guitar player, Niki Sullivan.
Vintage Rock Magazine of Britain has issued a special 132 page edition honoring the 60th anniversary of The Day The Music Died.
Exclusive interviews include intimate discussions with Buddy’s widow Maria Elena Holly; Bobby Vee, who took the unenviable position as Buddy’s replacement to close out the final tour; Crickets members Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis, who share their fond memories of Buddy – and producer Nick Patrick, whose True Love Ways project brought Buddy’s music together with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Built in the early 1950’s by record producer Owen Bradley, the ‘Quonset Hut’ was the original Nashville recording home for Decca Records. Rock ‘n’ roll pioneers, like Buddy Holly, made their first professional recordings in Owen Bradley’s studio.
Here it is…
How to find the ‘Quonset Hut’ on Music Row in Nashville
The Day the Music Died , The Start of a New Career
Robert Thomas Velline (April 30, 1943 – October 24, 2016), known professionally as Bobby Vee.
Bobby Vee’s career began in the midst of tragedy. On February 3, 1959, “The Day the Music Died,” three of the four headline acts in the lineup of the traveling Winter Dance Party—Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper—were killed in the crash of a V-tailed 1947 Beechcraft Bonanza airplane, along with the 21-year-old pilot, Roger Peterson. (Dion DiMucci, the second headliner, had opted not to travel on the plane.) The plane crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa, en route to the next show on the tour itinerary, in Moorhead, Minnesota. Velline, then 15 years old, hastily assembled band of Fargo schoolboys (including his older brother Bill) calling themselves ‘The Shadows’ volunteered for and were given the unenviable job of filling in for Holly and his band at the Moorhead engagement. Their performance there was a success, setting in motion a chain of events that led to Vee’s career as a popular singer.
Buddy Holly and The Crickets arrived in Portland, Oregon to appear live on High Time, a local TV teen dance show, and performed that night at the Paramount Theater along with an all-star cast as part of the Biggest Show of Stars ’57, which included Fats Domino, Everly Brothers, Paul Anka, Chuck Berry, Frankie Lyman, The Drifters.
Mike Campbell talks about the solid-bodied Rickenbacker 12-string he found shopping through the old “Recycler” advertising newspaper, driving to Anaheim, and later discovering it was built on the assembly line with George Harrison’s guitar in the 1960’s.
The Story of Electric Blues Guitar Legend Michael Bloomfield
Here is a biographic documentary about the life and music of legendary blues guitarist, Michael Bloomfield. From his early playing days in Chicago, to his first recordings with John Hammond, and then Bob Dylan, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Electric Flag band, to his Super Session with Al Kooper – and his solo career. Here we have provided a complete compilation of The Michael Bloomfield Story, Parts 1 through 10. Special thanks to David Dann and his website Mike Bloomfield: An American Guitarist for providing the following biography.
Introductory notes from @bloomsdisco on YouTube (that is, David Dann, I presume): IN CELEBRATION OF Michael Bloomfield’s 67th birthday anniversary, mikebloomfieldamericanmusic.com offers a video biography of the legendary guitarist, detailing his remarkable career with images, interview clips and music. Created by filmmakers Nick Lerman and Alex Wernquest, and site manager David Dann, this 10-part narrative begins with Bloomfield as a young, up-and-coming guitarist recording for John Hammond Sr., playing with Bob Dylan and joining the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. It then follows Michael as he creates the Electric Flag and performs to standing ovations at Monterey, records “Super Session” with Al Kooper and then pursues a career playing music on his own terms. Included are excerpts from previously unheard Bloomfield recordings as well as rare and seldom-seen photos of the guitarist.
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 1
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 3
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 4
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 5
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 6
Audio track to video deleted by request of copyright holder(s).
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 7
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 8
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 9
The Michael Bloomfield Story – Part 10
Unfortunately this part has been blocked by YouTube by request of copyright holder(s).
February 2, 1959
The Winter Dance Party Arrives in Clear Lake, Iowa
On this frozen night in 1959 the Winter Dance Party, featuring headliners Buddy Holly and the Crickets, arrived at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The show also included Frankie Sardo, Dion and the Belmonts, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and new teen sensation Ritchie Valens.
By the time the tour bus pulled into Clear Lake, Buddy Holly was frosted by the bitter Mid-West weather, and frustrated by all the breakdowns along the way. To avoid another long cold bus ride after the show, Holly decided to charter a plane to take himself and the Crickets to the next stop in Moorhead, Minnesota.
The Surf Ballroom had not been a scheduled stop on the tour, but show’s promoters, hoping to fill an open date, called Surf Ballroom manager Carroll Anderson and offered him the show.
The photo above is of Buddy Holly performing his last show on the stage of the Surf Ballroom. Also pictured here are Waylon Jennings on bass guitar and Tommy Allsup on rhythm guitar.