Last pictures taken of Buddy Holly donated to Buddy Holly Center - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/13/10

Last pictures taken of Buddy Holly donated to Buddy Holly Center

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - For decades unless you were there, no one has been able to visualize Buddy Holly's last performance, until now.

On Monday the Buddy Holly Center was presented with three one of kind photographs taken that fateful night.

The three black and white photographs were taken back on February 2, 1959 at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, and to this day, they are the only known pictures of that night.

Most know his music, many his story, but for co-producers with Blue Days Productions, Jim McCool and Sevan Garabedian, who set out to make a documentary about that February night, laying a hand on these pictures is pretty unique.

"What's great is that for years, researchers and fans have always heard stories about this night, people who were there, the emcee's, the musicians, but no one could ever visualize it," said Garabedian.

As they started their research, they placed an ad in a local paper asking for any pictures of the winter dance party tour in Clear Lake, Iowa. In late 2008, to their surprise a woman by the name of Mary Gerber gave them a call.

"She called us up and said I was at that show and I took seven photographs," said McCool.

She was just 15 at the time, but little did she know, they were taken just hours before the plane crash which killed Buddy holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson, and their pilot Roger Peterson.

"It's special, but it's very bitter sweet when I saw the pictures because wow, you are glad they exist, but at the same time, you know what's to come after a couple hours after the picture is taken and they've got their whole lives ahead of them," said Garabedian.

The pictures show Buddy Holly singing and playing the guitar in the spotlight.

"The third one is very unique because it shows in the foreground Dion and the Belmonts and in the background if you look very closely you will see Buddy Holly playing drums," said McCool.

Now these photographs will be a permanent part of Buddy Holly's history, right here in Lubbock.

"We've waited a long time since we found these photos to be able to present a set to the Buddy Holly Center and it's a real honor to be here," said McCool.

The pictures are now on display at the Buddy Holly Center. Blue Days Productions hope to have their documentary out in 2011.

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