Visitors from as far as United Kingdom attend festival

Sharna Johnson

While Thursday marked the beginning of the Clovis Music Festival, organizers expect the excitement will build through the weekend as crowds converge on Clovis.

Festival attendees began trickling in Thursday from locations as distant as the United Kingdom, Canada, Rhode Island and Boston, said Kenneth Broad, curator of the Norman Petty Recording Studio.

“We get a good variety of people in,” he said.

Broad said he spent most of the day giving tours of the studio where Buddy Holly and numerous other musicians recorded their music.

Broad said the festival is something the studio spends quite a bit of time preparing for.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into it,” he said.

This year with a 75th birthday celebration held for Buddy Holly Wednesday in Lubbock, Broad said he expects attendees of those events will move toward Clovis to continue with the music festival.

Holly died Feb. 3, 1959 in a plane crash in Iowa plane crash that also killed fellow rockers Ritchie Valens and J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson.

Nashville author Danny White was on hand at the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum in the Clovis and Curry County Chamber of Commerce to promote his book and soon-to-be released audio book.

A music company owner and record producer, White said he has attended the music festival in the past and loves the music history in Clovis.

White said he developed a deeper appreciation for Holly’s music when he had an opportunity to play music in Europe with Tommy Allsup, a former Holly bandmate.

His book, “The Last Rock and Roll Show,” is historical fiction about two high school boys who get pulled into an adventure when their car is stolen, containing an illegal audio recording they made of Holly’s last performance.

White said he is on the cusp of filming an independent movie of the story and is eyeing Clovis as a possible filming location, part of his reason for coming to the area.

“I wanted to get out and let people know about the project,” he said.

Thursday night kicked off the music festival with “Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story,” at Marshall Auditorium.

The festival continues through Sunday.