Friday, August 16, 2013

3,000 Pairs of Trousers, Gyrating Parts and Rock n Roll

Andy Christoper as Buddy Holly
When the fateful plane crash that took 3 Rock n Roll icons including Buddy Holly in 1959 I was ten.  But my Aunt Mimi was 23 so I did not miss much of Richie Valenz, the Big Bopper or Buddy Holly.  It is amazing to me how Buddy Holly’s success stretched far beyond his  death. 

Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is considered the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll.  It was quite refreshing to watch the show depict Buddy as chafing against authority long before it was popular and prefacing the sixties mantra of “You Can’t trust anyone over thirty.” The back story is always interesting and this musical told it well, seeping each song in its own history.  It was interesting to note that "Peggy Sue" was originally written as "Cindy Lou" (after Holly's niece), but Holly changed it prior to recording as a tip of the hat to Crickets drummer Jerry Allison's girlfriend, Peggy Sue Gerron.

Kurt Jenkins as Buddy Holly, Joe Cosmo
Cogen as Jerry Allison & Sam Weber
as Joe B. Mauldin
What a night!  It  was hard  for the audience to sit still in their seats.   We rocked out with the stars that night to the rockabilly swagger, of Buddy Holly and the Crickets.  Buddy explodes onto the stage in a jukebox musical fully loaded with classics  “Oh Boy,” “That’ll Be the Day,” “Well All Right,” “Not Fade Away.”

Two of my favorite parts were the spotlight interposes at corners of the stage of the various DJ’s that promoted Buddy and the Crickets.  I also love the scene when the Crickets play the Apollo in Harlem.  I loved it when the band arrived at the Apollo Theater, where Buddy and the Crickets realize they have come to "a colored theater," and the all-black audience is shocked to see that the guys they have been enjoying on the radio are white. Surprise! Surprise!

This show was two hours and 30 minutes of both high energy fun and drama. It was only marred by the one liners from some of Holly’s songs, but the mini concert at the Apollo simply “rocked out.”
Ryan G Duncan as the Big Bopper

Here’s a fun fact culled from the CLO website:  Over 3,000 pairs of trousers have had to be replaced from extensive Buddy knee-sliding across stages around the world.  That should give you an idea of how much fun the audience had watching the team of Kurt Jenkins Buddy Holly, Joe Cosmo Cogen as Jerry Allison and Sam Weber as Joe B. Mauldin in Pittsburgh CLO's "Buddy -- The Buddy Holly Story,"Also although he only appeared at the end Ryan Duncan was spot on as the Big Bopper.

Joanne Quinn-Smith, Award winning internet radio broadcaster, blogger, author  and internet radio and TV network editor and publisher.  Joanne is the owner and CEO, Creative Energy Officer, of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, a successful Pittsburgh-based marketing company. She is a grandmother and great grandmother, an unlikely trendsetter for online journalism and broadcasting. Joanne is internationally known as the “Get Your Google On” Gal.  But better known as Techno Granny™ to over one million accumulated online listeners worldwide.   Joanne has created a revolutionary online NEW MEDIA platform in Internet broadcasting, blogging and other social media participation that represents the new second generation of World Wide Web interactions, known in technology circles as Web 2.0. JQS is the online publisher of, an online community magazine to disseminate the Positive News for Positive Pittsburghers.  PPL Mag is Pittsburgh’s First Internet radio and TV network with syndicated channels and online radio and TV capabilities.

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