Allsup in 2009
November 24, 1931 |
Owasso, Oklahoma, US
|Genres||Rock and roll, country, western swing|
|Associated acts||Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings|
He worked with entertainers such as Buddy Holly and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Allsup was touring with Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson when he lost a fateful coin toss with Valens for a seat on the plane that crashed killing Valens, Holly and Richardson on February 3, 1959. Allsup moved to Los Angeles, played with local bands, and did session work, including writing credit for the Ventures', "Guitar Twist".
He returned to Odessa, Texas, where he worked with Ronnie Smith, and Roy Orbison, and producing Willie Nelson. In 1968, he moved to Nashville, where he did session work, and produced Bob Wills', "24 Great Hits by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys". In 1979, he started a club, "Tommy's Heads Up Saloon", in Fort Worth. The club was named for Allsup's coin toss with Valens 20 years beforehand.
- Lehmer, Larry (2004). The day the music died: the last tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. Music Sales Group. ISBN 0-8256-7287-2.
- Patterson, R (2004). Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-4423-0.
- Online biography
- Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame—Tommy Allsup
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Allsup, Tommy
- Voices of Oklahoma interview with Tommy Allsup. First person interview conducted with Tommy Allsup on September 8, 2011. Original audio and transcript archived with Voices of Oklahoma oral history project.