social icons WMMM twitterfacebook RSS facebook twitter RSS Center
Kitty Dunn

Kitty Dunn

What does Kitty have to say?


 


Surf Ballroom memories

We're hearing a lot this week about the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa...because it's now been 50 years since "the day the music died."  It was on February 2nd, 1959 that Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens played the Surf Ballroom...and then fed up with a cold tour bus that was always breaking down, they got on a small single engine plane to get to their next gig. And as everybody knows..they never made it, crashing in a nearby farm field. Tonight there's a huge tribute concert happening at the Surf, with a stellar lineup including Graham Nash, Los Lonely Boys, Delbert McClinton and Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens. Holly's widow is also expected to be there..along with Tommy Allsup, the guy who lost the coin flip to Ritchie Valens for the last seat on the plane. I wish I could be there for that show..but I did get a chance to attend "50's in February" a couple of years ago. Mike and I had a great time, accompanied by our friends Roger and Julie. (Johnny Rivers and Nelson were the big headliners.) The ballroom at the Surf has been restored to what it looked like when Buddy played there..and it's pretty surreal. Add that to that the fact that couples were dressed in 50's gear..which looked a little odd since many of them were in the late 60's or 70's! There's a museum of sorts at the Surf...with some memorabilia you can check out. But my favorite part was the old pay phone on the wall..the last phone Buddy Holly ever used to call his wife Maria Elena. Roger checked the coin return and found a dime! We got instructions for driving out to the crash site (something like..turn left at the 3rd silo)..and it really is out in the middle of nowhere. Mike, Julie and Roger hiked out to the site through slushy snow..but as it was getting dark I decided to wait back in the van (which was a little scary..being ALL ALONE in the desolate rural landscape).   But when the gang got back they told me all about the small memorial there..where people had left mementoes (including one person who left an Illinois driver's license.) Roger added the dime he found in the pay phone. If you're a fan of Buddy Holly..or rock and roll history in general..I highly recommend you make the trip out to the Surf Ballroom sometime. Hey--it's just been named a rock and roll landmark by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! Our buddy Michael Bie has written a great article about the Winter Dance Party tour, on his website classicwisconsin.com. 



Tags :  
Social :


Share This: | More


 
02/02/2009 8:55AM
Surf Ballroom memories
Please Enter Your Comments Below
Title :
Comment :
Listen Live (WMMM)
Playlist (WMMM)
2 Minute Promise
Submit
World's Worst iPod: Patrick Hernandez "Born to be Alive"
A lot of disco lovers must have been tuning in, because Wednesday's World's Worst iPod song seemed to get more yes votes than just about any other song we've ever featured. The song made it up to #16 in the United States,and was the only...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Eric Carmen "Make Me Lose Control"
For some reason, both Jonathan and Kitty had a special place in their hearts for this 1988 hit by Eric Carmen. "Make Me Lose Control" was a follow-up to "Hungry Eyes," which was on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. It never appeared on an Eric Carmen...
Read More
Five Things You Didn't Know About Elvis
Had he lived, Elvis Presley would have turned 80 years old today. He's a rock and roll icon, but there are some facts about him that may have slipped by you over the years. 1. When he met with members of Led Zeppelin in 1973, he traded watches...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: M. McCoo and Billy Davis Jr " You Don't Have to be a Star...
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. were already big stars in 1976 when they released the song "You Don't Have To Be A Star To Be In My Show). The husband and wife team were former members of the hit group The 5th Dimension. This song was on the...
Read More
Kellie the Digital Director's Top Albums from 2014
10. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold I have to admit something. After reading all my fellow coworkers lists, I saw First Aid Kit appearing multiple times, and I had no idea who they were. I've only listened to this album once while writing my list,...
Read More
Nick the Web Guy's Top 10 Albums of 2014
10) Little Feat – Live in Holland 1976 Can you ever get enough Little Feat? Newly released set from the band in its prime. 9) Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music A psychedelic walk down a country road. 8)...
Read More
Gabby's Top 10 Albums of the Year
1. Saint Paul and the Broken Bones - "Half the City" I declared this to be my favorite album of the year when I first heard it back in January. It still is. 2. Paolo Nutini - "Caustic Love" I waited 5 years for a new...
Read More
Lindsay's Top Albums of 2014
1. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold Folk vintage - yet modern. The sister duo, which I thought may edge into the slightly obnoxious, was captivating. Their high pitched harmonies that ring throughout every song, sell every second. There were some seriously...
Read More
 
Recent Blog Posts
World's Worst iPod: Patrick Hernandez "Born to be Alive"
A lot of disco lovers must have been tuning in, because Wednesday's World's Worst iPod song seemed to get more yes votes than just about any other song we've ever featured. The song made it up to #16 in the United States,and was the only...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Eric Carmen "Make Me Lose Control"
For some reason, both Jonathan and Kitty had a special place in their hearts for this 1988 hit by Eric Carmen. "Make Me Lose Control" was a follow-up to "Hungry Eyes," which was on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. It never appeared on an Eric Carmen...
Read More
Five Things You Didn't Know About Elvis
Had he lived, Elvis Presley would have turned 80 years old today. He's a rock and roll icon, but there are some facts about him that may have slipped by you over the years. 1. When he met with members of Led Zeppelin in 1973, he traded watches...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: M. McCoo and Billy Davis Jr " You Don't Have to be a Star...
Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. were already big stars in 1976 when they released the song "You Don't Have To Be A Star To Be In My Show). The husband and wife team were former members of the hit group The 5th Dimension. This song was on the...
Read More
Kellie the Digital Director's Top Albums from 2014
10. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold I have to admit something. After reading all my fellow coworkers lists, I saw First Aid Kit appearing multiple times, and I had no idea who they were. I've only listened to this album once while writing my list,...
Read More
Nick the Web Guy's Top 10 Albums of 2014
10) Little Feat – Live in Holland 1976 Can you ever get enough Little Feat? Newly released set from the band in its prime. 9) Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music A psychedelic walk down a country road. 8)...
Read More
Gabby's Top 10 Albums of the Year
1. Saint Paul and the Broken Bones - "Half the City" I declared this to be my favorite album of the year when I first heard it back in January. It still is. 2. Paolo Nutini - "Caustic Love" I waited 5 years for a new...
Read More
Lindsay's Top Albums of 2014
1. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold Folk vintage - yet modern. The sister duo, which I thought may edge into the slightly obnoxious, was captivating. Their high pitched harmonies that ring throughout every song, sell every second. There were some seriously...
Read More
Categories
Archives