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Austin, MN audience to get early look at Buddy Holly tribute

This news story was published on January 2, 2012.
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Trey Mewes, Austin Daily Herald, Minn. –

Buddy Holly fans should take note this Friday. That’ll be the day a tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valenz and The Big Bopper comes to town.

The Buddy Holly Tribute will play at the Paramount Theatre Friday, Jan. 7, featuring Denny Charnecki and the DC Drifters as well as Bill Dewey and a variety of other artists.

“There’s kind of a resurgence in (Holly) going on,” Charnecki said.

The Tribute will play in Austin a month before the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, will pull out all the stops for its annual Buddy Holly tribute, which this year will include Chuck Berry.

Charnecki knows Buddy Holly better than most. He listened to Holly’s music growing up, bought a guitar that looked like Holly’s, and eventually honed a Buddy Holly tribute strong enough that it was, Charnecki said, unofficially endorsed by Maria Santiago, Holly’s widow.

“To me, I’d rather listen to him than Elvis Presley,” he said.

Charnecki and the DC Drifters will perform their Clear Lake tribute in February, but they wanted to give people in Austin a first glimpse at some of the songs, history and performances the Drifters have in mind.

“The people can catch it here in Austin without the big ticket price,” Charnecki said. “It’s a good way for people to see the Buddy Holly show that we do.”

In addition to the Drifters, there will be two Ritchie Valenz impersonaters, including Minnesota musician Kevin Eastburn.

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