Sunday, February 3, 2019

In Memoriam: Buddy Holly Stood On These Floor Boards--60th Anniversary

60 years ago. Photo by Sharon Johnson courtesy Historic Duluth Armory
Dion & the Belmonts. Photo Sharon Johnson, courtesy Duluth Armory. 
The real Ritchie Valens. Photo Sharon Johnson, courtesy Duluth Armory.
The world is filled with Collectors of all kinds. Some collect cars, others collect stamps, or baseball cards. Some collect rare manuscripts, some collect Bob Dylan memorabilia. And some, like Joe Mann, collect autographs and memorabilia of people who in one way or another have been affiliated with Buddy Holly.

Tommy Alllsop
This past month I was able to see a portion of Joe's rare and unique collection. I first became aware of the signatures he'd collected on floorboards after a Hibbing Dylan Days in which many of the attendees from overseas had the opportunity to go inside the Armory and stand where young Bobby Zimmerman stood. I met some people from Britain, Germany and France that day, and listened to music by Jamie Fox, two-time winner of the Hibbing Dylan Days singer/songwriter contest.

It was my first time actually meeting some of the local Dylan fans who had been involved with the creation of Bob Dylan Way and the Duluth Dylan Fest,

Carl Bunch -- "The Frostbitten Cricket"
See "Small Board Signatures" Below *
Click indivudual photos to enlarge.
J. P. Richardson, aka The Big Bopped (Sharon Johnson)
Look at the energy projected from those eyes.
After the February 2, 1959, performance in Clear Lake, Iowa (which ended around midnight), Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson, and Ritchie Valens flew out of the Mason City airport in a small plane that Holly had chartered. Valens was on the plane because he won a coin toss with Holly's backup guitarist Tommy Allsop. Holly's bassist, Waylon Jennings, voluntarily gave up his seat on the plane to J.P. Richardson, who was ill with the flu. Just after 1:00 am on February 3, 1959, the three-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza departed for Fargo, North Dakota, and crashed a few minutes after takeoff for reasons still unknown. The crash killed all three passengers and pilot Roger Peterson instantly upon impact.

Special thanks to Joe Mann for sharing portions of his 
private collection of photos and memorabilia.

Autographs collected by Joe Mann when The Crickets performed at Iron World.

Current condition of Armory floor boards where Buddy Holly performed
The renovation is now in stage five for the Armory itself.

Joe Mann is a collector of mementos and memorabilia related to the Winter Dance Party tour that came through Duluth on January 31, 1959. 

Special thanks to Mark Poirier of the Duluth Armory for permission to share these original photos from that historic event.

* Small Board Signatures
Ray Anthony -- Performed with John Mueller as Ritchie Valens impersonator
Big Bopper -- J P Richardson’s son
John Mueller -- Authorized Buddy Holly impersonator
Buddy’s wife. Maria Alaina Santiago Holly

A few of the signatures present here on these floor boards.
Tommy Allsup
Carl Bunch. “Frostbitten Crickets” 2002
Peggy Sue Garon Jerry Allison’s wife
Scarlet Rivera
Ramona was the only female cricket.

Joe Mann holding Signed Photo of The Crickets
when they were performing at Iron World.

Jerry Allison, cap
Joe B Mouldin
Sonny Curtis
Glenn Hardin

“My dad loved their music.” --Joe Mann

Related Links
More Buddy Holly Memories
The Day the Music Died
The Day the Music Almost Died
DNT's Christa Lawler Gives A Nod to the 1959 Winter Dance Party

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