Several weeks ago I found myself surrounded by family and friends of rock and roll royalty.
While visiting Lubbock, Texas, I was invited to a performance of "Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story."
The musical, which tells the life story of Lubbock's native son and rock pioneer Holly, is being staged by the non-profit Lubbock Moonlight Musicals and features cast members from of the London production of "Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story," which closed earlier this year.
The talented performers (including many local residents and Texas Tech students) brought Holly's music alive under the Texas stars. Adding to the depth of the experience was the fact that so many people in the audience -- and even on the stage -- had personal connections to Buddy Holly.
The woman sitting next to me went to school with him. His niece, Ingrid Holly Kaiter, sang in the show. And as an encore, his nephew, Eddy Weir, joined Matt Wycliffe (who plays Buddy) on stage, for a rocking guitar duet. I spoke briefly to Eddy, who said it was an honor for him to be play in the musical depicting his late uncle's life and legacy. Countless others in the audience shared how proud they were that the musical had returned, so new generations can learn about this music pioneer.
As far as British actors playing boys from West Texas -- I have to say they got the accent down just right. And by watching all of the young people in the audience it's pretty clear -- the music definitely hasn't died.
Lubbock Moonlight Musicals presents "Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story" at the Wells Fargo Amphitheater in MacKenzie Park, July 25 and August 1, 7, 14, and 22 at 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.lubbockmoonlightmusicals.org or call 1-800-735-1288 or 806-770-2000.
The Buddy Holly Center - While in Lubbock, learn more about the man and his music