Dance Party Reunion: A Salute to Buddy Holly and Friends
61st Anniversary Show
February 3rd, 2020 marks the 61st anniversary of the plane crash that took the lives of three of America’s most iconic musicians: J.P. ‘The Big Bopper’ Richardson, Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly.
Gary Rue (Gene Pitney, FAB 6, The Sensational Sleepers) is proud to present an even bigger and better version of 2019's "Buddy Holly and Friends: Not Fade Away", featuring some of the original cast members from History Theatre’s IVEY-Award-winning production of “Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story”, including Nicholas Freeman reprising his role as crooner-in-chief of Buddy's hits.
The first set contains the music of Buddy's friends on that final "Winter Dance Party" Tour: The Big Bopper (Zach Spicer), Dion & the Belmonts (Brian Pekol) and Ritchie Valens (Allen Malicsi).
The second set features a red-hot Nicholas Freeman-led quartet serving up all the Holly hits: That’ll Be the Day, Peggy Sue, Rave On, Maybe Baby, Not Fade Away, Heartbeat, Everyday, Words of Love and Oh Boy.
Endorsed by Sonny Curtis and Jerry Allison of the Crickets!*
All hosted by Mr. Charles Fraser!
*More about why...
As music director for Gene Pitney from 1986-2006, I would bump into the Crickets as they were leaving an East Coast venue and we were coming in. Because of this association, I was able to convince them to attend opening night of Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story" at History Theatre in 2009.
Sonny and Jerry (Crickets) both told us that they had seen this show in LA, London, Chicago and New York (...and don't get them started on the Gary Busey movie...) and they did not at any time hear the music represented in a true fashion (let alone the portrayal of Mr. Holly). But...after hearing and seeing these guys play the songs, they announced that it was the best they'd ever heard, 'true to the bone'. Here's how we did it.
From Gary Rue, music director for "Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story":
"I was in a rehearsal room with the quartet, going over some of the music, and it was seeming to me that the music was 'flat', sounding like any old garage band that was only equipped to play 3 chords and a 4/4 beat. I knew I was missing something, so I asked my bandmate and co-instructor at McNally Smith, Peter Johnson to visit and render an opinion. (Peter was the former drummer for Manhattan Transfer, so I figured he would most certainly be most capable of calming my initial reflex.) Sayeth Pete: "Well, you're not employing 'the rub'."And what might 'the rub' be?" I queried."
Pete explained: "When Buddy was on the rise, be-bop was on the way down. You remember when the phrase 'don't be square' was an insult?"
Be-bop was 'swing'. Rock and Roll was square. The rub', clearly defined, is when these two elements of music crashed head-on into each other. The drummer (being the 'cool' one) wanted to 'swing'. Buddy, the up and coming rock and roller, wanted to play square." (The bass player didn't care, all he had to do was 'walk quarter notes on the beat.) (The Rub was a heavily employed technique in Zydeco music. Other early R&R stars used it as well: Chuck Berry, Buddy Knox, et al.
And that's how we won the admiration of The Crickets and won a prestigious IVEY Award for music direction. This show is worth every dime.