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Fans across country celebrate Buddy Holly’s 85th birthday in Lubbock

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 11:01 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - While February 3 marks “the day the music died,” September 7th marks the day it was born. Tuesday would have been rock and roll legend Buddy Holly’s 85th birthday. The singer-songwriter was born and raised here in Lubbock, before opening for Elvis and joining the chart-topping “Crickets.” While his life was cut short at only 22 years old, his legacy lives on. Fans from across the country met at the Buddy Holly Center to celebrate.

Tom and Dianne Cavanaugh, a couple from 9 hours away in Spring, Texas, happened on the birthday bash during their road trip across the panhandle.

“So we have our itinerary, and just by coincidence today we were coming to the Buddy Holly museum, and we were surprised that the, in the entranceway to find out that it’s the 85th birthday, so we really lucked out. They’re doing a lot of extra things here,” Tom Cavanaugh said.

Russ Dunn and his wife came all the way from Montana.

“We have friends that play in a band that are huge Buddy Holly fans, but we also grew up in that era of Buddy Holly, so yeah we’re fans,” Dunn said.

They’re also visiting their granddaughter, a student at Texas Tech. An associate professor at the university heard about the birthday bash on KCBD and brought his rock and roll media students for a field trip.

“And we haven’t got quite to Buddy Holly yet, but when I learned that this was going to be happening today, I was up until 1 or 1:30 a. m. last night. I was so pumped,” Stone said.

The professor of practice, with a background in radio and the recording industry, says we didn’t have enough time to discuss Buddy Holly’s influence on the music world.

“And there’s a saying up on the museum wall that says, at least the first 40 songs that the Beatles wrote were Buddy Holly influenced. That pretty much says it all,” Stone said.

“He only really sang professionally for a year and a half, that’s it. And just in that short period of time he really made a name for himself and influenced so many other bands,” Dianne Cavanaugh said.

His fans singing “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue” to this day.

“We enjoyed listening to his music, and still like it, yeah,” Dunn said.

“You know, his music, it doesn’t get old,” Tom Cavanaugh said.

Stone says he hears Buddy’s influence in a lot of current music and still hears his songs in commercials and TV shows. His class should get to their Buddy Holly lesson Thursday or next week, but they got to learn first hand Tuesday.

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