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Playing Around: Buddy 

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A challenge: Go stand on any American street corner, in any town or city, and sing a Buddy Holly song. It's alright if you're not even very good, so long as you can keep the rhythm. Snap your fingers a little. Get into it. Just sing, and soon you'll have a crowd around you, all smiles, nodding in time. Nobody can resist a Buddy song.

Those energetic, fresh-faced rhythms of songs like "Maybe Baby" and "That'll Be the Day" reigned over the airwaves from 1957 to February 2, 1959, the day Buddy Holly was killed in an Iowa plane crash. He had just performed a concert with Dion, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper (JP Richardson). When the heater on their tour bus had broken, they opted to use a tiny passenger plane, but there was only room for three. Dion stayed behind. In a storm, the plane went down, also killing Valens and The Big Bopper.

In those short two years that he was king, Buddy Holly and the Crickets managed to influence almost every rock 'n' roller to come since, forever changing American popular music. His life is now chronicled in the stage production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, a musical featuring live renditions of Buddy's hits, including "Peggy Sue," "Rave On," "Oh Boy," and others. Beginning in the Lubbock, Texas barrooms where Holly began playing country music, continuing through his engagement as the first white act to play the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Buddy follows Holly's career up to that last concert in Iowa.

The stage show is in town for two nights at the Pikes Peak Center. Tickets range from $24 to $41.50. Call 520-SHOW.

  • Nobody can resist a Buddy song.

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