McPHERSON — Billy McGuigan and his band bring the Buddy Holly tribute show “Rave On” to the McPherson Opera House on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m.
Holly was killed in a light airplane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, an accident that also claimed the lives of Richie Valens and the “Big Bopper,” J. P. Richardson.
Although Holly’s career as a national figure lasted a scant two years, his influence on popular music has been profound. In an Aug. 24, 1978, Rolling Stone interview, Bruce Springsteen told Dave Marsh, “I play Buddy Holly every night before I go on; that keeps me honest.” Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones saw Holly perform “Not Fade Away” live, which became an early hit for the Stones. John Lennon and Paul McCartney both cited Holly as a primary influence.
In the last two years, two Holly tribute albums have been released with artists as diverse as the Detroit Cobras, Lou Reed, The Fray, and Patti Smith, among many others.
“There’s a reason Buddy Holly’s music has had such incredible influence. He was a genius songwriter,” said John Holecek, executive director of McPherson Opera House. “As a kid, I was a fanatic Buddy Holly fan, and I really did cry when I found out he had died. ‘Rave On’ is more than just a performance. It will stir your soul. And to younger people who don’t really know that much about Buddy’s music, I say ‘come on down to see what you’ve been missing.’”
Tickets are available online, mcphersonoperahouse.org, by phone, 620-241-1952, or at the box office, 219 S. Main.