His music helped change rock and roll and Buddy Holly continues to inspire, this time through the celebration of artists just like him with West Texas ties. NewsChannel 11 takes you behind the history of the West Texas Walk of Fame.
It started as a tribute to a rock and roll legend, who was one of Lubbock's most influential sons. "Honor Buddy Holly - that was the whole concept to start with," Chevo Moralez said.
For nearly a decade, Moralez headed the West Texas Walk of Fame committee. He says in 1979 a concert was held to raise funds for the Buddy Holly statue. "But after they put it up, we said well, we've got a lot more people from Lubbock that accomplished something," he said.
And so began the West Texas Walk of Fame, currently located in the Buddy Holly Plaza in downtown Lubbock. "People that are in soap operas for year and years, they're from Lubbock. We've done Broadway people. We've done artist we've done sculptors," Moralez said.
One by one, as each of these artists with West Texas ties is inducted, their name is placed on a plaque, which lies in shadow of a legend forever looking up to Buddy Holly. "The guidelines are anybody within a 200 mile radius of Lubbock," Moralez added.
One of those is 1980 inductee, singer/songwriter Waylon Jennings. He was born in Littlefield, but his fame spread across the world. "In Buddy Holly's band was Waylon Jennings and Waylon played with Buddy lots back in the day. And Waylon went to be one the major icons in country music in the 70's," Lubbock Music Producer Don Caldwell said.
Caldwell says many of those honored in the Walk of Fame inspired each other. "At the same time Waylon was happening and The Maines Brothers were happening, also on the West Coast Mac Davis was bringing that West Texas roots music to the nation," he adds.
Civic Lubbock took over the project in the 1983. Later that year singer/songwriter Mac Davis was the third person to be inducted.
With the Walk of Fame in the foreground, another tribute lies just feet away. It is the West Texas Terrace which is dedicated to Lubbock area individuals who have devoted their entire lives to ensure that those who are now on the walk could reach their dreams. "These are the people in the city that really have been very instrumental in the arts and entertainment so that was created to honor them," Moralez said.
To date, more than 40 artists have been inducted to the Walk of Fame. "We pick about 3 or 4 and research them and out of those we decide if it's going to one or if it's going to be two, three," Moralez said.
Moralez says an induction ceremony can cost up to $8,000 a person. "You have to bring the people in. You have to put them up. There is usually a big reception prior to the induction. And all that depends on who it is, how far they have to fly in and how many people they're bringing," Moralez added.
It's a celebration of West Texas's past and present, as Buddy Holly forever stands encircled by those who never let the music die. "People look at that it as this is the way people did it. This is the way people made it. And there are a lot of people that look forward to that and say I want to do that too," Moralez added.
Civic Lubbock continues to take nominees for the West Texas Walk of Fame. The group plans to honor additional inductees within the next couple of years.
Buddy Holly Legacy Lives On In Lubbock