KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) - Ten days before the music died, rock ‘n’ roll was alive and well in Kenosha.
Teen heartthrob Buddy Holly joined rising stars Dion and the Belmonts, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson for the second stop of the infamous Winter Dance Party tour on Jan. 24, 1959, at the Eagles Ballroom.
More than 1,500 screaming teenagers squeezed into a packed ballroom to witness a performance that would soon become — certainly far sooner than anyone envisioned — a significant piece of music history.
Just one month past her 13th birthday, Kenosha resident Pat Keating arrived hours early to assure a front-row spot at the stage.
“My girlfriend and I stood there for four hours without moving,” Keating said to Kenosha News. “We were both in love with Buddy Holly. I remember when he came out, it took at least 10 minutes before everyone would stop screaming to let the poor guy sing. But once he started singing, nobody made a noise.”
The Winter Dance Party opened the previous night at George Devine’s Ballroom in Milwaukee. After a successful encore performance in Kenosha, the grueling, non-stop tour quickly took a turn for the worse as freezing temperatures and constant, broken-down buses created difficult, if not dangerous, conditions.
The final straw was when the bus stalled in Duluth, Minn., and Holly’s drummer, Carl Bunch, was hospitalized due to frostbite on his feet.
Eleven days into the tour, Holly refused to step foot on another bus. The bands rocked their now-legendary performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, before Holly booked the next flight he could find to the tour’s next stop in Moorhead, Minn.
The chartered plane, carrying Holly, Valens, Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson, crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all four people aboard.
Through Don McLean’s hit song “American Pie,” Feb. 3, 1959, would become known as “The Day the Music Died.”
“We cried,” Keating said. “We couldn’t believe it. They were all gone. All of them.”
After being plagued by the cold and flu throughout the tour, band members were well-rested and full of life in Kenosha.
Holly, a 22-year-old Texas native, played all of his hits in Kenosha including “That’ll Be the Day,” ″Rave On” and “Peggy Sue.”
Richardson’s rousing set included his classic hit “Chantilly Lace.”
Valens, a 17-year-old rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, brought girls to tears with “Donna” and blew the roof off with “La Bamba.”
“The Big Bopper was all over the stage,” said Keating, who attended Washington Junior High School at the time. “He had so much energy. He was nuts. He looked like a goofball, but was so much fun to watch.
“Then Buddy came out, and everyone was in awe. Girls were crying like the Beatles were performing. Ritchie Valens was so laid back and quiet. We all thought maybe he was a little shy or something.”
It was one of the most energetic shows of the tour and also the most documented, thanks to the diligence of local photographer Tony Szikil.
The 84-year-old Kenosha resident was working a wedding reception at the Eagles Ballroom that night and knew if he got done early enough, he’d be able to head upstairs and photograph the concert.
As the ceiling shook above, Szikil reluctantly stayed with a demanding bride and groom who refused to let him leave early.
“I was able to get upstairs, but not soon enough,” Szikil said. “At 9:30 p.m., I told the bride and groom, ’I’ll give you a free 8-by-10 for your book, if I can leave. They said, ‘No, you’re going to be here until 10:30 p.m.’
“The floor started bouncing up and down from the concert. I said, ’I’ll give you two 8-by-10s. They said, ‘No.’ I did one going-away shot at 10:40 p.m. and the groom says, ‘One more.’ I said, ‘No, I’m going upstairs!’”
Szikil walked into the ballroom as Holly finished his last song, “Peggy Sue.” His 24 photos taken that night will be forever shared as a stunning, visual remembrance of the famous tour.
Several of his photographs clearly captured an enamored Keating in the front row.
“There’s Ritchie Valens on stage, and there’s me, left of the microphone, clapping my hands with a big smile on my face,” Keating said. “I was famous.”
Information from: Kenosha News, http://www.kenoshanews.com
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Cheap [But Useful] Groomsmen Gifts
First things first — when we say “cheap” wedding gifts we do not mean crappy quality by any means.
You’d be better off lighting your money on fire rather than wasting it on a gift that your best man and groomsmen are just going to throw away the day after the wedding.
So none of our following recommendations would fit under that heading — these gifts are all ones that we think groomsmen would still appreciate and find enjoyable or useful for years to come.
You can also skip right to this page with our most affordable groomsmen gifts, under $20 per person including US shipping — and including personalization in most cases.
Sticking To Your Wedding Budget In a world where the wedding business is booming and it is tough to plan a wedding and stick with a strict budget, we tend to find it necessary cut corners on some parts of the preparations.
More often than not, we try to save on the wedding favors, flowers, and the most obvious of all, the wedding party gifts.
While plenty of wedding guides will recommend spending $100 per groomsman and $150 for your best man or father of the bride, we realize that those numbers aren’t going to be feasible for every groom.
It can be a struggle to find a gift that will not make your wallet cry, but at the same time be meaningful or at least useful to your groomsmen.
The reality of it is that people appreciate a personal touch on simple gifts because it means that you were thinking of them.
In this article, we will provide some suggestions for inexpensive groomsmen gifts that are not necessarily the stereotypical cheap groomsmen gifts. We will also give you tips and tricks on how to take your simple groomsmen gifts to the next level. Ready to see where you can save money? Then, continue reading.
All the gifts we have chosen are, as mentioned, affordable but at the same time unique and can be personalized.
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Your wedding DJ will do far more than just play songs. Here's a list of other important tasks your DJ will handle on your big day.
Your wedding DJ will play a vital role on your big day—and it’s actually more than just playing music to fill the dance floor. In fact, a wedding DJ has many jobs to do, some of which you’ll see, others that are more under-the-radar. That’s why hiring a well-reviewed professional is totally worth it (meaning, creating a Spotify playlist, plugging your iPhone into some speakers, and calling it a day really won’t cut it).
Here are the things you probably didn’t know your rockstar wedding DJ can do—aside from playing major tuneage, that is.Helps enforce the day-of timelineWhile your wedding planner and/or venue will likely take the lead on creating your wedding-day timeline, an experienced DJ will certainly contribute, since he/she knows how long certain parts of the reception will take. What’s more, your wedding DJ is responsible for executing and enforcing the timeline during your reception, making announcements to ensure that events occur on time and if there are any hold-ups, adjusting accordingly.
Provides sound equipmentHaving high-quality, working sound equipment is an absolute must—and your wedding DJ will have that all covered. Without microphones, speakers, and the like, your guests won’t be able to hear your first introduction as a married couple, the lyrics to your first-dance song, your best man's toast, the announcement that dinner is being served, or that the last dance is being played.
(May) supply lightingWhile we do recommend hiring a company that specializes in lighting for more extensive needs, many wedding DJs offer uplighting as part of their services. Uplighting consists of smaller lighting systems that can be placed on the floor and aim light upwards to highlight your tables and dance floor. Talk to your wedding DJ to see if this is something that can be included in your package, or if you’re better suited to hire a professional lighting company.
Makes sure all equipment is workingThere are few things more annoying during a wedding reception than music that’s too loud, too soft, or muffled, or worst-case scenario, dead air due to malfunctioning equipment. Not only do experienced wedding DJs utilize top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art equipment, they also do sound checks at your venue well before the reception begins to ensure that everything is working properly so there won’t be any awkward silences.
Sets the moodSure, you could simplify a wedding DJ’s role by saying he/she “plays the music.” But it’s really about more than just selecting and playing songs. A wedding DJ sets the tone for your reception by playing the right songs at the right times, and reading the crowd accordingly. If you want your party to be a total rager, they’ll know the right tunes to put guests in a dancing mood. Alternatively, if your goal is a reception with an old-school romantic feel, your DJ will know how to create that vintage vibe. And, a skilled wedding DJ knows exactly how to pack the dance floor if your guests are getting a little too comfortable in their chairs.
Helps you choose songsYour wedding DJ can be a great source of advice if you’re struggling to pick songs for any of your special dances. An experienced DJ has seen first-hand which songs work and which don’t, and is up-to-date on the newest tunes. That’s why it’s important to meet with your wedding DJ (in person, if possible!) a few weeks before your wedding to make your song selects and do-not-play list. Of course, your DJ will have an extensive library of songs you (or your guests!) can request, but the key is knowing if they’re appropriate and when to play ‘em.
Serves as emceeEmcee may be the most important role your wedding DJ will play. Think of your DJ as the host, cruise director, and point person for the evening, making announcements and ensuring that your guests are aware of what’s going on and what’s next. Having your wedding DJ serve as emcee is far more authoritative and professional than you trying to shout “Time for dinner!” over the blasting music. Your guests are more likely to follow directions from an experienced wedding DJ and will look to your DJ (instead of you or your new spouse) for information, so your big day will proceed smoothly and you can focus on enjoying every minute!
Can create mashups and song cutsWorried your first dance song might be a bit too long? Your wedding DJ has got you covered! Want to start your father-daughter dance with a slow song and then surprise your guests by cutting into a Michael Jackson favorite? A DJ can create a custom remix just for you. Many wedding DJs are skilled at creating mashups, remixes, and adjusting song lengths to fit your needs—just ask!
Covers up any hiccupsThings may go wrong on your wedding day, but fortunately, wedding DJs are pros at getting things back on track. Let’s say dinner is running slightly behind schedule. Your DJ can play an extra few songs so that guests are too busy dancing to care that the food’s not ready. Or maybe your dad is in the restroom when he’s supposed to be giving his toast. Your DJ can cover until he’s available. Your guests won’t notice any potentially-awkward mishaps when you’ve got a pro wedding DJ at the helm.
Source: All the Things Your Wedding DJ Can Do (Besides Play Music) - WeddingWire
It is a funny thing, sometimes, the songs I am asked to NOT play at a wedding.
Clients claim to hate them, guests secretly love them! These are the most requested DO NOT PLAY songs of 2018. Or, as we like to call it, the “Guilty Pleasures” list! (this is by no means a scientific poll... based on millions of votes nation-wide)