Lubbock visitors looking for reminders of Buddy Holly don't have to look far. For starters, one of the main downtown thoroughfares is named Buddy Holly Ave. It runs north from 25th St. to just past 1st St.
Buddy Holly Plaza, at 8th St. and Ave. Q, features a larger-than-life-size statue of the singer-songwriter. The bronze work anchors the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame, which honors West Texas musicians and artists who have achieved national or international acclaim. The adjacent Buddy Holly Terrace pays tribute to Lubbock-area citizens who have made significant contributions to the region's art, music, and entertainment. Always open. Admission to both sites is free. Wheelchair accessible.
The Walk of Fame is one of 14 sites that comprise the Buddy Holly Historical Tour, a driving tour of Buddy's Lubbock that spotlights various sites, including the singer's high school, church, childhood homes, and grave site. (Normally a self-guided tour, a narrated version via motor coach is offered during the Buddy Holly Music Festival. For a free Buddy Holly Historical Tour brochure and visitor guide, write to the Lubbock Convention & Tourism Bureau (14th St. and Ave. K), Box 561, Lubbock 79408; 806/747-5232 or 800/692-4035. Web site: http://www. lubbocklegends.com . Lubbock's area code is 806.
Buddy Holly Music Festival
The 3rd annual Buddy Holly Music Festival will take place the weekend of Sep. 3-6 (usually held the weekend closest to Buddy's birthday, Sep. 7). Many events are free. All sites are wheelchair accessible unless otherwise noted.
The festival kicks off Thu. afternoon with the 1998 Buddy Holly Walk of Fame Induction. (See "Culture on the Caprock," April 1998.) This year's inductees are former Lubbockites Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. Admission: Free.
Festivities continue Thu. evening with the Cactus Theater Festival Gala and the 1998 premiere of Buddy–The Buddy Holly Story at the Cactus Theater (1812 Buddy Holly Ave.). Black tie optional. Cost (covers gala and premiere): \$35. Other performances take place each remain ing evening of the festival, with a matinée on Sat. The show also runs Fri-Sat the following weekend (Sep. 11-12). Cost: \$15-\$20. Call 762-3233. Reservations advised.
The Buddy Holly Music Festival Kick-Off Luncheon takes place on Fri. at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center (8th St. and Ave. Q). West Texas music legend LaDonna Gatlin will host the event, as well as perform. Cost: \$10. Call 767-2686 for tickets.
Friday's lineup also features plenty of '50s nostalgia in the Historic Depot District (the downtown area between Interstate 27 and Buddy Holly Ave.). Classic cars will line Buddy Holly Ave., and fans can exchange '50s memorabilia at the annual Fanfare at the 19th Street Warehouse (1824 Ave. G). A Sock Hop, which features '50s music, a '50s costume contest, and a jitterbug contest, follows. Admission: Free. The Crickets, Buddy's old band, including two original members, will headline the Crickets' Homecoming Concert Fri. evening on Buddy Holly Ave. Admission: Free.
The Crickets will present another free performance on Sat. at 3 p.m. at Raider Alley (adjacent to Jones Stadium on the Texas Tech University campus near 4th St. and Boston), just prior to Texas Tech's football game with the University of Texas at El Paso.
Sat. also includes the 1st Annual Holly Avenue Boot-Scoot, an outdoor concert and dance on Buddy Holly Ave. that features Jody Nix and the Texas Cowboys. Call 747-7047 for details.
Starting Thu., the Lubbock Convention & Tourism Bureau will offer an hour-long, narrated Buddy Holly Historical Tour via motor coach every day of the festival, departing every hour from the corner of Ave. G and 18th St. in the Depot District. The tour includes video clips of Buddy's brothers, sister, widow, fellow members of the Crickets, and friends. Cost: Free. Not wheelchair accessible, but the LCTB can arrange a special wheelchair-accessible tour if you call ahead.
A Buddy Holly Memorabilia Display, an exhibit of Buddy's personal belongings, will be on view at the Cactus Theater throughout the festival. Hours: Thu-Fri 9:30-6, Sat 9:30-1 and 5-6, Sun 9:30-6. Admission: Free. (Theater-goers can also view the collection during all performances of Buddy.)
Many Depot District clubs and restaurants will also participate in the celebration, featuring live music every evening of the festival. Admission and cover prices vary. Most venues wheelchair accessible. For a complete listing of Lubbock entertainment events, check out "Around Town" in each Friday edition of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, or visit the newspaper's Web site: http://www.lubbockonline.com .
For a complete schedule of festival events and information on ordering the official 1998 Buddy Holly Music Festival T-shirt, contact the Lubbock Convention & Tourism Bureau (address and phones listed previously). Broadway Festivals, Inc. also carries some festival merchandise. Call 800/687-7393, or visit its Web site: http://www.broadwayfestivals.com .
Check your library for the following biographies of Buddy Holly: Remembering Buddy: The Definitive Biography by John Goldrosen and John Beecher (Penguin Books, 1987), Rave On by Philip Norman (Simon and Schuster, 1996), and Buddy Holly: A Biography by Ellis Amburn (St. Martin's Press, 1995). Another book that contains numerous references to the singer is Prairie Nights to Neon Lights: The Story of Country Music in West Texas by Joe Carr and Alan Munde (Texas Tech Univ. Press, 1995).
Fifty of Buddy Holly's recordings, including some of his early, little-known songs, are on the compact disk set The Buddy Holly Collection (MCA Music). Donnie Allison, who portrays the singer in Lubbock's version of the musical Buddy, has a CD out called Donnie Allison: A Tribute to Buddy Holly. (To order Allison's CD, write to Don Caldwell Productions, Box 2526, Lubbock 79408; 806/747-7047.)
Check video rental stores for The Buddy Holly Story, a 1978 movie with lots of Hollywood hype, but an outstanding portrayal of Buddy by actor Gary Busey. Although hard to find, The Real Buddy Holly Story, a documentary on Buddy's life filmed in Lubbock and Clovis by former Beatle Paul McCartney, makes for an interesting comparison.