The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Ticket feature: Rock 'n' Roll panel part of festival


September 2, 2009

While the Clovis Music Festival has boasted its ability to bring fans from across the world, this year’s festival gained the attention of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Museum Exhibitions Coordinator Shelby Morrison is heading to Clovis for the Sept. 10-13 festival as a show of support for the Norman and Vi Petty Rock and Roll Museum and the festival.

“Part of our mission is to educate people about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music and the Norman Petty Studio, Museum and Festival not only extend that goal, but celebrate it,” Morrison said in an e-mail. “The Clovis Sound that originated there helped to change the face of American popular music and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is proud to support this achievement.”

Morrison will be moderating a panel with George Tomsco, Stan Lark, David Bigham, Ken Broad, Tommy Allsup, and Gary and Ramona Tollett 1 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Business Enterprise Center Boardroom.

The panel will discuss the experience of recording at the Petty Studio from different perspectives and what made the studio unique and how all of this created the Clovis Sound, Morrison said.

Johnny Tillotson and Dave Somerville of the Diamonds, who will be performing at the festival, spent time with Buddy Holly.

“I go a long way back with Buddy Holly,” Tillotson said. “I was on the first rock ‘n’ roll tour with the Crickets. Often you’ll think everyone has seen Elvis and Buddy Holly and then you realize they haven’t. Then you realize how lucky you are. Not only to see them but in certain cases played with them or hung out with them.”

Tillotson’s greatest success was in the early 1960s when he scored a series of Top Ten hits including "Poetry in Motion" and a song he wrote himself “It Keeps Right on a-Hurtin.’”

Tillotson said he plans to play a collection of his hits “as honestly as possible.”

Dave Somerville, best known as co-founder and original lead singer of The Diamonds, said he plans to tell a story about Buddy Holly through the music and dialogue.

“Depending on the time of the performance, I tell a little bit or a lot of being a part of the Diamonds and the Show of Stars, where we stormed North America for 60 days with several musicians including Buddy Holly,” Somerville said.

Somerville said he remembers discussing rock ‘n’ roll with Holly.

“We would talk about how long we thought rock ‘n’ roll would last. People look back at what we were doing and it’s historical. It was an entirely unconscious thing for us. How this music became the cultural event of the century has been totally amazing to me,” Somerville said.

Somerville plans to perform Diamonds hits at the festival.


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