For over 27 years, the Clovis Music Festival has been the premiere special event in the region celebrating the music legacy of the Norman Petty Studios, according to Ernie Kos.
“The musical ties of Clovis, NM date all the way back to the days of rock and roll,” explained Kos, the current Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce executive director and ENMU alumni. Musical greats such as Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly created and recorded music at the Norman Petty Seventh Street Studio and contributed to the popularity of the “Clovis Sound.”
“Petty is known throughout the world as a recording pioneer and innovator whose reputation has given Clovis and New Mexico an international stature. Petty co-wrote songs, produced, recorded, and even managed the career of mid-1950s rocker Buddy Holly,” said Kos.
The collaborations of Holly and Petty resulted in hits like Peggy Sue, It’s So Easy (To Fall in Love), and Maybe Baby. Norman Petty’s ear for musical talent also helped the career of many other artists who recorded in the studio such as Buddy Knox, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Gilmer and the Fireballs.
For rock and roll lovers, the Norman and Vi Petty Museum recognizes the Petty’s incredible contribution to music as well as the artists who spent their time recording in the studio. The museum displays an operational recording studio from the 1950s as well as memorabilia such as photographs, musical instruments, and an extensive radio collection. The museum houses the original mixing board that Norman Petty used to record Bully Holly and the Crickets.
Kos says that the Clovis Music Festival will go back to its roots on Friday, September 9 when it hosts American Bandstand at the Marshall Auditorium. Songs such as Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, Mama Said, and Earth Angel will be performed. Original artists performing include Johnny Tillotson, Merrilee Rush, Shirley Alston Reeves, Brian Hyland, and Chris Montez.
Country music superstar Clint Black will hit the Marshall Auditorium stage on Saturday, September 10 with hits like When My Ship Comes In, Killin’ Time, and A Better Man. Black won Favorite Country New Artist from the AMA’s in 1990 and Vocal Event of the Year in 1999 with his wife Lisa Hartman Black for their duo performance of When I Said I Do.
Tickets for the Clovis Music Festival will be $35 in advance or $40 at the door for Friday night. For Saturday night, tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Call 575-763-3435 for more information.