Buddy Holly’s last stand in Youngstown

Buddy Holly and his Crickets were world-wide stars by the time late ’58 rolled around. It wasn’t by accident. Virtually all of the year of 1958 was spent on the road by the band. By the time October 12, 1958 rolled around for two shows at Stambaugh Auditorium, the band had already been to Australia and the United Kingdom as well as just about everywhere that would have them in the United States. It was Holly’s second trip to Youngstown that year. The first came on January 15, but the Everly Brothers were the headliners that time around.

Despite a grueling tour schedule in 1958, Holly needed money by the time 1959 rolled around and agreed to hit the road with the Winter Dance Party also featuring Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. Holly played 11 dates on that tour before a plane carrying him, Valens and the Big Bopper went down near Clear Lake, Iowa killing all aboard on February 3, 1959.

Holly was set to play Youngstown for a third time in 13 months on February 13, 1959 as part of the third to last show of the Winter Dance Party. Even though he didn’t make it, the Dance Party did continue until the end of the contracted dates. Frankie Avalon, Jimmy Clanton and Fabian were substituted as the headliners. I tried to find an ad for that show in the Vindicator, but papers from that time frame were not available online. I did some research at the library recently and there was no mention of the Feb. 13 date in the Vindicator. I’m not sure it went off at all.

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