Rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly was offered a spot in the Winter Dance Party, a
three-week tour across the Midwest opening on Friday January 23, 1959. He was accompanied on the tour by Dion and the Belmont’s, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The
Big Bopper” Richardson. Billed as The Crickets, the backing band consisted of
Tommy Allsup (lead guitar), Waylon Jennings (bass), and Carl Bunch (drums).
The tour was a miserable ordeal for the group. They endured long overnight
travel in a bus plagued with a faulty heater in freezing temperatures. The bus
also broke down several times between stops.
Pictured from left: Waylon Jennings, Buddy Holly and Tommy Allsup
during the Winter Dance Party at the Duluth Armory on Jan. 31, 1959.