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 'The Night The Music Died'

It was after performing at the
Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa,
on a cold February night in 1959,
February 2,
the event happened that changed rock and roll forever.

The small plane carrying Rock and Roll Ledgends
Buddy Holley
Richie Valens
and the
Big Bopper
crashed into a field shortly after take off and all perished.

Their music will live in the hearts of all those that danced to and sang their music.
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           The Surf Ballroom
           460 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake
           (641) 357-6151
               One of Clear Lake's premier attractions is the Surf Ballroom.  
           The ballroom is best known as the site of Buddy Holly's last concert
           on February 2, 1959.  Holly, along with Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The
           Big Bopper" Richardson, died in a plane crash north of Clear Lake
           following their performance at the Surf in the early morning hours
           of February 3rd.  Each year, a tribute is held the first full
           weekend in February to pay tribute to the legendary performers.
               Throughout the year, the Surf Ballroom is host to a variety of
           musical acts, ranging from rock and roll, to jazz, the blues and
           traditional big bands.  Groups who have recently performed at the
           Surf include Cheap Trick, George Thorogood, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley
           and Tracy Lawrence (watch the Surf Ballroom's calendar of events for
           announcements of upcoming concerts).  The Surf can also be reserved
           as a convention site and reception hall.
               In 1995, the Surf Ballroom was restored to its original
           splendor, thanks to the Dean Snyder family which purchased the
           ballroom in September of 1994.   The ballroom had the great honor of
           being named Iowa's Attraction of the Year in 1995.  In 1998, the
           Surf, along with former manager Carroll Anderson, was officially
           inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Okoboji, Iowa.
               The Surf Ballroom is open to the public year round Monday
           through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  (Open Mondays & Fridays
           only in September 2004). There is no admission charge for self
           guided tours.  Narrated tours are available to large groups for a
           nominal fee (reservations required).


Buddy Holly Crash Site
           It was just another Iowa soybean field before the plane carrying
           Buddy Holly crashed there.  Now, to fans, it's hallowed ground.
           Ken Paquette, who lives in Portersfield, Wis., 50 miles north of
           Green Bay, wanted something permanent at the exact location of the
           crash.  "People didn't know exactly where it was," said Paquette, a
           50's era fan.  "There were flowers scattered all along the fence
           line.  I thought there should be something there."
           Paquette made a stainless steel guitar and a set of three stainless
           steel records.  On the guitar are the names Buddy Holly, Ritchie
           Valens, and The Big Bopper, along with the date of the crash,
           2/3/59.  On the records, there are the names of the recording labels
           and the big hits for the three artists: "Peggy Sue" on Coral,
           "Donna" on Del Fi and "Chantilly Lace" on Mercury.
           The memorial is located on private property.  Visitors are asked to
           respect their rights while visiting "The Place The Music Died."
           Directions to Crash Site:  From U.S. Highway 18, go north on North
           8th Street in Clear Lake for 4.7 miles.  When the paved road (which
           has turned into Grouse Avenue) turns to your left (west), take the
           gravel road (310th Street) to  your right (east), then immediately
           left (north) on Gull Avenue.  Follow Gull Avenue to the north for
           one-half mile, just past the grain bins to the first fence row on
           your left (west).  Walk along the fence row towards the west for
           just under one-half mile.  A small memorial is located at the place
           the plane came to rest.  Four trees were also planted along the
           fence row in 1999, one for each performer and the pilot.

           Clear Lake, Iowa 50428
           Phone: (641) 357-2481
           Fax: (641) 357-7735

     
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Information used from
Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce
web site.

http://www.clearlakeiowa.com

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