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Hit the Road with Chet Garner

A Glimpse of Buddy Holly

Lubbock museum honors native son’s enduring musical legacy

I remember the first time I heard Buddy Holly. My older brother bought the soundtrack from the film Stand by Me, and for weeks the song Everyday was stuck in my head. Soon I discovered Peggy Sue, Rave On and other classic hits. My feet have been tapping ever since.

It wasn’t until decades later that I learned Holly was born and raised in Lubbock and that the world’s best Buddy Holly museum sits in the heart of the Hub City.

Chet visits the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock.

Courtesy Chet Garner

The first thing I noticed as I turned off Crickets Avenue was a larger-than-life set of Holly’s signature black-rimmed glasses. Holly once considered wearing contact lenses to help his rock star image, but contacts hurt his eyes and he needed glasses to see the crowd. That’s a good thing, as the glasses became as much a part of his timeless look as the electric guitar in his hands. This is just one of many facts I learned inside Lubbock’s Buddy Holly Center.

The museum is full of artifacts and a complete timeline of how a kid from Lubbock forged a new rock ’n’ roll sound that changed the world. One display shows mementos from Holly’s high school days, including his baseball mitt and Converse high-tops. Another display holds items from Buddy’s rise to fame, including a tweed sports coat he wore on tour and a pair of super-hip suede shoes.

It’s hard to believe that Holly’s career lasted only a few years, cut short by a plane crash in Iowa. His black-rimmed glasses recovered from the wreckage now sit silently in a case at the end of the museum’s timeline.

The center gives every generation a connection to the man and his music. As the title of one of his hit songs says, his legacy will Not Fade Away.