“King of the Twist” takes the stage at The Winter Dance Party

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3td34tYT6Q] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqumur1qVcg]

Everybody has a favorite story or memory and for Jim Nowoc, it’s his Buddy Holly guitar.

Ever since he’s received the guitar he’s made it a passion of his and has gotten 60 people to sign it, including 14 Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers.

But it’s not just anybody, Jim says he wanted to keep this guitar Buddy Holly themed.

The guitar includes signatures from 7 people who attended Buddy’s last performance at the Winter Dance Party in 1959.

As well as members of the Valens family and he says he needed one more signature, which he was able to get last night: Jimmy Clanton.

“He was pretty impressed quite a gentleman most photogenic guy I have met I tell you what a wonderful smile and he thought highly of the piece he thought it was quite an amazing piece,” says Nowoc.

Now that he has all the signatures on the guitar he’s been pining for, he says he’s retiring the guitar and put it on display in his home to enjoy.

There were a few members of Ritchie Valens family who signed Jim’s guitar and some of those family members joined folks at the lake theater today for a screening of “La Bamba.”

The film is the biographical story of Ritchie Valens rise to fame.

Members of Ritchie’s family including his sister Connie were on hand to answer some question from the audience after the showing.

Another one of those signatures on that guitar is present here tonight.

The “King of the Twist” Chubby Checker is taking the stage tonight here at the Surf Ballroom for the first time.

I had a chance to sit down with the rock n roll legend earlier today.

“Rock n’ Roll was only about 6 years old so it was the first big rock n roll tragedy.”

Chubby Checker who was born Earnest Evans met with me minutes after arriving at the Surf Ballroom to talk about the “day the music died.”

He recalls hearing the news while in school.

“I wasn’t even in show business yet I was hoping to be. I was at South Philadelphia high school and we heard about the plane crash so it’s always been with all the kids from that era,” says Checker.

He became famous in the early 60 for his hit The Twist”.

Tonight he’s performing at the surf for the very first time.

“I never thought that I would be here although I had passed up and down this road many times and said, Clear Lake, I said Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, but never thought we’d be doing this and we’re excited I’m honored that the town has asked me to come and play for the celebration.”

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