‘Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience’ brings raves from Holly musicians | Arts & Culture
Last spring, Billy McGuigan and his brothers wowed audiences at the Springer, sharing the music of the Beatles, the band that inspired them to become musicians.
Now Billy, Matthew and Ryan return to the State Theatre of Georgia to share the music of the band that inspired the Beatles to become musicians.
On Thursday “Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience” opens.
Buddy Holly’s music not only inspired the Beatles (and Bob Dylan, Elton John and countless others), but his band the Crickets supplied the inspiration for the four lads from Liverpool in the naming of their band.
Billy and his brothers have performed all over the country, but last season performing at the Springer was very special for the McGuigans. Their father was stationed at Fort Benning when they were children. While Sgt. Bill McGuigan was posted to Korea, Billy taught himself and his brothers how to play on his father’s guitar. When their father returned they surprised him with a concert in the living room.
From then on every Friday and Saturday night was “Beatles Night” in the McGuigan home. Being the family of an enlisted man meant money was tight and instead of paying for entertainment, they entertained themselves – and became amazing musicians.
In 1996 after a long and heroic battle with leukemia, Bill McGuigan succumbed to the disease. Now 17 years after his death and after performing all over the United States, the brothers perform as a tribute to their father in the town where it all began.
Their talents have earned them the kind of accolades that most musicians just dream about.
Grammy Award winner Tommy Allsup has said, “‘Rave On!’ is the best Buddy Holly show out there!” And Allsup should know since he was Holly’s lead guitarist.
In the winter of 1959, Allsup was touring with Holly, Richie Valens, The Big Bopper and Dion and the Belmonts on the Winter Dance Party Tour. On Feb. 3 Allsup flipped a coin with for the last remaining seat on a plane Holly had chartered to fly some of the musicians to their next date. Allsup lost and Valens was killed along with Holly, The Big Bopper and the pilot.
The writer of “Rave On!” and “Oh, Boy,” two of Holly’s biggest hits, Sonny West, has said, “Billy is the best; he really is!”
In a unique twist, “Rave On! The Buddy Holly” also celebrates the birth of an era and pays homage to Holly’s fellow pioneering rockers with music of Valens, The Big Bopper, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.
“Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience” includes such Holly hits as “Peggy Sue,” “Raining in My Heart,” “It’s So Easy,” “That’ll Be the Day,” “True Love Ways,” “Oh Boy” and of course, “Rave On.”
“Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience” runs at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday-Saturday and next (Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 24-26) and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27.
For tickets or more information, call 706-327-3688 or visit springeroperahouse.org.
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