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Remembering Holly at Winter Dance Party
On the night of Feb. 2, 1959, a plane carrying J.P. Richardson, Richard Valenzuela, Charles Hardin and pilot Roger Peterson crashed during a snow storm.
The world soon learned that the three passengers who died in the crash were some of the greatest rock and roll performers of their time: The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly.
On Saturday, local musicians Manfred Harter, Cadillac Bob and The Lonely will pay tribute to one of them at the Winter Dance Party in Lumby to help raise funds for the Lumby Museum.
This tribute performance is based on a series of concerts held in 1959 called the Winter Dance Party, and these took place on some very cold and miserable days and nights when Holly, Valens and the others went on tour together, said local guitarist Harter, who has been a fan of Holly’s music since grade school and periodically surfaces to immerse himself in the music of this great artist.
“The tour bus broke down several times and had no heater. It was, at best, a hard grueling and primitive circumstance,” he said. “It was a time to meet new fans and follow up on the heels of a number of new song releases, but a bad flip of a coin for an airplane seat during a snowstorm, and a pilot unfamiliar with night flying, caused the death of the four young men.”
That evening saw Holly’s last show in Clear Lake, Iowa. The following night would have been in Moorhead, Minnesota.
“The next day, Feb. 3, is generally considered to be the date associated with Buddy Holly’s passing. That was the day the airplane was found in a cornfield, crumpled,” said Harter.
Joining Harter in Lumby for this show are friends and fellow musicians of similar music tastes. No stranger to Lumby, Cadillac Bob has teamed up with Harter to pick and sing, while The Lonely consists of drummer Rennie Sirianni and Rod MacDonald on upright bass. Both are familiar names and faces in the Greater Vernon music scene.
The Winter Dance Party takes place at White Valley Community Hall Saturday from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $25, available at Lumby Health Foods, Caffe Mazzega, eventbrite.ca and at the door.