My Name Was Oh Donna

Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper oh and me, Donna.

My ‘bar’ days are in the distant past but there still is one place that is more home like than bar like that my friends and I enjoy and that is The Commercial in Maryhill. (I know I have mentioned it previously). It is the ultimate Cheers ‘Sometimes you want to go, Where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.’

This past weekend Paul and Sylvia Weber, owners of the Commercial, hosted Bill Culp and the Memphis Cats who brought along Jeff Giles as Buddy Holly. I had never seen Jeff perform before and he is incredible in the role and lives up to all the hype you can google. He has played Buddy in a number of stage plays of the Buddy Holly Story and when he comes to the stage as Jeff there is a subtle morph to Buddy with the first strum of the guitar.

The show was an anniversary tribute as the previous Friday (Feb 3) was the 53rd anniversary of the death of Buddy, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, J.P. Richardson from a plane crash.  With the loss of so much talent at one time the date has been referred to as, ‘The Day The Music Died‘.

The plane trip was a last minute arrangement and the original three passengers were Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup.  Richardson (the Big Bopper) had the flu and asked Waylon for his seat and Ritchie Valens got Tommy’s seat in a coin toss.  So much for fate.

All were well represented.  Bill Culp is talented in so many ways but when he started The Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace it was as though he was meant for that song in that moment.

Bruce Tournay, that white knight of song and the keyboard, as  you know is a long standing heart throb of mine, and when he sang Ritchie Valen‘s Oh Donna (I had already volunteered to be Donna when no one else in the room claimed the name), he knelt on one knee, held my hand, gazed into my eyes and sang, I was, I was…well…..Actually I was a very unfashionable beet red color due to the embarrassment of the whole thing.

The most fun, almost, next to the above, was when Jeff explained how Snowball dances were conducted way back when, and he had all of the band come off stage to dance with us, and then snowball. (You may have to google that if they were not part of your past!).

It was a wonderful show and if you get a chance to see any of these guys do catch their show.
I antiqued the first photo which was kind of fun!

Our friend Pauline volunteered to sit in a Maria Elena Buddy's wife
The Stage

14 thoughts on “My Name Was Oh Donna”

  1. Well, Chris, didn’t this bring out a lot of memory bits and bites? This takes me back to the Saturday sock hop at the local TV Station where we’d win piles of 45 each week.

    I will, however, have to look up snowballing. Glad you enjoyed yourself, Ms. Donna!

  2. I will forever, now, picture you as “Donna” when I hear this song. 🙂 But I won’t picture you beet red!

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