The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Alive Again-Legends of Rock & Roll

By Virginia Ross-For The Quill

Despite a winter storm rolling into the area, a large crowd showed up to see Legends reborn.

A loud murmur filled the auditorium in anticipation of a return to a simpler time when Rock and Roll was the cutting edge of the music scene in the 1950's. We, who grew up then, had our favorite radio stations, saved our money for 33's and 45's and followed Dick Clark's "Bandstand" every afternoon after school. The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly among others blared throughout our houses.

Our parents just knew we were headed for delinquency much like parents today view Grudge.

John Mueller"s Winter Dance Party revived old memories and offered a trip back in time. The opening set blared around the venue and we all committed to joining that long ago scene when poodle skirts and can cans where fashion's cutting edge. The pulse was literally electric vibrating throughout the room as the Fenders pounding out the sound.

A backup band is one of the most important elements for a singer and this group was phenomenal! Saxman Mike Acosta is a virtuoso adding solos and changing instruments to match the mood of the song. At bass Ed Maxwell and drummer Jerry Angel were the heartbeats as the melody slammed the house. Backup guitarist, Michael Starr rounded out the group. These guys could have been the headliners!

The Big Bopper, Linwood Sasser, gave the crowd what they wanted: "White Lightning" and "Running Bear." People around me were gleefully joining in while The Bopper in the typical costume of time, an outrageous zebra sport coat, bopped around the stage.

Ritchie Valens, Ray Anthony, dashed onstage in a glittery suit, red shirt and bolo tie to sing "Let's Go" and "Bony Moronie."

Finally, Buddy Holly, John Mueller, greeted the audience with "Maybe Baby," "Peggy Sue," and others. As these familiar sounds filled the room people danced, clapped and most of us jived to the sound.

After a brief intermission, the Big Bopper returned with "Chantilly Lace" which has us singing along while remembering when we first sang this song. Ritchie Valens' "Donna" and "La Bama" had the same effect. John Mueller as Buddy Holly favored the audience with an original tribune to the Legends who died that night after performing at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3, 1959.

If you were at the Burlington Auditorium Friday night, you left agreeing that it was remarkable evening renewing forgotten memories and rejoicing that Rock and Roll lived again for one more night.

Mark your calendar for February 14 when Melissa Errico will sing Broadway and movie songs. Bring a friend; it is one of the best entertainment deals in town.