Buddy Holly memorial
This was published in my hometown's newspaper:
Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2007 12:04 AM CST
Innocence died, too, that cold February day in 1959By PEGGY SENZARINO, Of The Globe Gazette
MASON CITY — Mike Harvey believes it’s all about innocence.
The host of radio’s syndicated “SuperGold with Mike Harvey” says that’s why the music of the 1950s continues to be popular with new generations.
Old and young will converge on the Surf Ballroom today as “Fifties in February” celebrates the music, the lives and the tragic deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.
Harvey, interviewed by telephone earlier this week from his studio in Orlando, Fla., will be host of the sock hop on Friday at the Surf.
Harvey can be heard on KRIB-AM 1490 in Mason City from 6 p.m. to midnight Monday-Saturday.
“I think there was an innocence to it that has been lost in more contemporary music,” Harvey said. “All you have to do is listen to anything on the radio today and there’s music that would never have even been able to be played then. The music of the ’50s was sweet and innocent, uncomplicated.
“It has the vision in so many people’s minds that those were the good old days, that life was best then. When in reality, we had big problems then, too. We just always seem to remember the good times,” according to Harvey.
He said Hollywood helped to fuel that illusion with films like “American Graffiti” and television shows like “Happy Days.”
If Holly hadn’t been killed in that plane crash near Clear Lake 48 years ago, his impact on the music industry might have been as great as that of legendary producer and studio executive Clive Davis, Harvey said.
“I think he obviously had even more talent as a writer and producer than he had as a singer. He was one of those guys who would have made a million finding and developing new talent,” Harvey said.
He said fans in the United States were slow to catch on to the genius of Holly.
British bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones “got it immediately.
The first records they released were remakes of Buddy Holly songs. They recognized his genius immediately.
“It was kind of like Holly’s music was over our heads a little bit,” Harvey said of American musicians.
“It’s really good stuff that we didn’t truly appreciate until much later.”
Harvey said he is looking forward to another trip to the Surf Ballroom. He’s played the Surf about a dozen times.
“For me, the whole thing is haunted in a good way. When I go in there, it’s like I can feel the energy of all the performers who were there before us. It’s just a magical place,” Harvey said.
“When you go in the Surf you get a feeling that is just completely different from anywhere else. They keep it looking as it looked during that period. They honor the music with all the displays. It is reminiscent of an era of nightclubs that doesn’t exist anymore. I get goosebumps every time I go in the Surf.”