CLEAR LAKE — It’s been 60 years since Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, “The Big Bopper” J. P. Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson died in a plane crash just north of Clear Lake, and the 40th annual Winter Dance Party is getting underway at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.
Surf Ballroom executive director Laurie Lietz says despite the cold weather we’ve been having the last few days everyone is looking forward to the weekend’s activities. “We’re looking forward to some great evenings full of rock’n’roll and a little bit of Rockabilly and just some great music and fun times throughout the community.”
Events kicked off last night with the Family Sock Hop and continue tonight with Jay and the Americans, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Good Clean Fun Band and Robin Luke.
Lietz says Friday night is being billed as the “Rock’n’Roll Royalty Show”, featuring the families of musical pioneers to celebrate their rock’n’roll heritage. Edan Everly will perform in honor of his father Don Everly; Frank Avalon in tribute of his father Frankie Avalon; Wendy & Carnie Wilson in honor of their father Brian Wilson; The Killer Vees in honor of Bobby Vee; Tommy Allsup’s son Austin Allsup will also perform; Linda Gail Lewis, whose brother is Jerry Lee Lewis; Bobby Cochran; Craig Westover with James Popenhagen; and Mario Rameriz, who is Ritchie Valens’ little brother.
Lietz says Saturday night is headlined by Chubby Checker and The Wildcats. The night also includes: Shirley Alston Reeves, who was the original lead singer of The Shirelles; The Chiffons; Albert Lee and Friends; Brian Hyland; Chris Montez; the Holy Rocka Rollaz; and Johnny Tillotson.
While the Winter Dance Party is sold out, there are a number of other activities people can participate in. Click here to take you to the Winter Dance Party website