I admit it – in my time I have said some harsh words
about Clovis, New Mexico.
But thanks to the Clovis Music Festival, I was happy to get back there
again this year; it’s a much bigger town these days with all the usual
fast food and chain stores spreading it ever wider - although
fortunately the downtown area is largely just as it was back in the
60s and 70s – until they demolish it all that is.
The main landmark, the Clovis Hotel, is in a sad state having declined
from an old but quite classy business hotel to a pigeon-infested shell
in the years since 1978 when I met Norman Petty there with John
Norman of course was a pioneer in the recording industry and his work
with local artists made him (and Clovis) a legend in his lifetime; sadly
something that he found difficult to live up to.
This is the
With the inspiration of the music of Norman Petty’s studios and
encouragement from Vi Petty, the Clovis Music Festival was first
staged in 1986. It had the blessing of many of the artists who
recorded in Clovis, and through the hard work of Clovis historians
John Ingman and Jerry McNeish, became an annual event.
However by 1990 the Festival was floundering and Vi’s death in
1992 pretty well sealed its fate; meanwhile the Lubbock Festival
had gone the same way due to interference from Maria Elena and
Fortunately someone in Clovis still cared about the studios and
a September Festival – Liz Eisenbraun, who was born in the UK,
had married and moved to Clovis in the late 80’s, and was
fascinated to find that the original Norman Petty Studio still
stood on the same site and was “just as it was in the 50’s”.
Liz told me in 2004 that she was keen to increase awareness of
the studios and at the same time get the Clovis Music Festival
up and running again - something she was qualified to do as
Events Director of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce.
Despite warnings from me and others, Liz pressed on with her
dream and soon had sponsorship organised and artists
contracted. The September 2005 Festival, which featured
The Crickets, Sonny West, The Fireballs and the John
Mueller’s Winter Dance Party Show , was soon sold out and
with many hotels fully booked the success of the Festival -
and its future - was assured.
Sonny West on stage with England's Mike Berry, well known for his unique song "Tribute to Buddy Holly".
A legendary song.
And Sonny is a legend, as well.
He was the first one to record "OH, BOY" and "RAVE ON". You must know, he is the author of these timeless hits. Songs, that Buddy covered soon afterwards. And Buddy was the one, who climbed the charts with Sonny's songs. It's very important to know about these facts.
This year’s line-up again included Sonny West, John Mueller and
The Fireballs with the added attractions of Mike Berry & The
Outlaws, The String-A-Longs and Tommy Roe. With nearly
a week of fringe events, tours of the studios and theatres
and a lot of chattering going on between fans and artists,
the event was certainly worth the admission – just $15!
(To be continued on page 2 !)
Big Bopper jr
Bopper on stage
at School Assembly
Kids get ready to rock -
what's John Beecher
doing here !
was never like this.
rocks the school
Gary & Ramona
and have fun
Hey buddy !
Mueller . .
Ritchie Valens ?
sound just right!
John Mueller congratulates guitar winner & future star. This little boy looks a little bit like Tommy Allsup, and somehow like Buddy, because of the glasses.
Your . .
buddy . .
Weiter geht es auf Seite 2. To be continued on page 2.