social icons WMMM twitterfacebook RSS facebook twitter RSS Center

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: LeBlanc & Carr "Falling"
LeBlanc and Carr were Lenny LeBlanc and Pete Carr, two Muscle Shoals studio musicians who hit the top 40 in 1978 with their hit "Falling." It made it up to #13 on the charts and was perfect for clumsy teenage slow dancing! Musically, these guys were...
Read More
Kitty's night in a haunted house
Before Friday, my only experience with a haunted house, commercial or otherwise, was at the Recreation Department in Stevens Point when I was a teenager, and as I remember I was FREAKED out. So I was a little nervous when Jonathan and I were asked to...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: El DeBarge "Who's Johnny"
A lot of people seemed to have fond memories of this questionable song from 1986. "Who's Johnny" was the first solo hit for the guy named El DeBarge, and it went to number 3 on the charts. Some of you might remember it from the movie "Short...
Read More
Finally, recognition of Stevie Ray Vaughan by the Rock Hall
The new list of nomines for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is out, and finally they give a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Rock Hall has passed Stevie by for the more than ten years that he's been eligible, causing me and other blues fans much...
Read More
You might want to see "Once" twice
I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome." The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Stonebolt "I Will Still Love You"
It seems Kitty was all alone in the Canadian wilderness with her love for the 1978 hit "I Will Still Love You" by Stonebolt. It only made it up to #29, so it seems a lot of folks didn't have the fond memories of the song that she did. With amazing...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Neil Diamond "Yesterday's Songs"
Even Neil Diamond fans didn't seem to want to throw their support behind this one. "Yesterday's Songs" with its cheesy backup singers may be the most cliche song the guy does! It made it up to #11 on the charts in 1981/82 and was #1 on the...
Read More
Free download: Benjamin Booker
Benjamin Booker is a 25 year old New Orleans musician who's been getting some attention with his debut self-titled album. He's been on David Letterman's show, toured with Jack White, and was reviewed in Rolling Stone. Of the song...
Read More
 
Recent Blog Posts
World's Worst iPod: LeBlanc & Carr "Falling"
LeBlanc and Carr were Lenny LeBlanc and Pete Carr, two Muscle Shoals studio musicians who hit the top 40 in 1978 with their hit "Falling." It made it up to #13 on the charts and was perfect for clumsy teenage slow dancing! Musically, these guys were...
Read More
Kitty's night in a haunted house
Before Friday, my only experience with a haunted house, commercial or otherwise, was at the Recreation Department in Stevens Point when I was a teenager, and as I remember I was FREAKED out. So I was a little nervous when Jonathan and I were asked to...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: El DeBarge "Who's Johnny"
A lot of people seemed to have fond memories of this questionable song from 1986. "Who's Johnny" was the first solo hit for the guy named El DeBarge, and it went to number 3 on the charts. Some of you might remember it from the movie "Short...
Read More
Finally, recognition of Stevie Ray Vaughan by the Rock Hall
The new list of nomines for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is out, and finally they give a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Rock Hall has passed Stevie by for the more than ten years that he's been eligible, causing me and other blues fans much...
Read More
You might want to see "Once" twice
I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome." The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Stonebolt "I Will Still Love You"
It seems Kitty was all alone in the Canadian wilderness with her love for the 1978 hit "I Will Still Love You" by Stonebolt. It only made it up to #29, so it seems a lot of folks didn't have the fond memories of the song that she did. With amazing...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Neil Diamond "Yesterday's Songs"
Even Neil Diamond fans didn't seem to want to throw their support behind this one. "Yesterday's Songs" with its cheesy backup singers may be the most cliche song the guy does! It made it up to #11 on the charts in 1981/82 and was #1 on the...
Read More
Free download: Benjamin Booker
Benjamin Booker is a 25 year old New Orleans musician who's been getting some attention with his debut self-titled album. He's been on David Letterman's show, toured with Jack White, and was reviewed in Rolling Stone. Of the song...
Read More
Categories
Archives