Legendary Rockabilly & Western Swing guitarist Tommy Allsup

This is the place to post obituaries

Moderators: lo&m, Moshe

Post Reply
Ultimate Member
Posts: 6687
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:55 am

Legendary Rockabilly & Western Swing guitarist Tommy Allsup

Post by kev » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:14 am

Legendary rockabilly and Western swing guitarist Tommy Allsup passed away on Wednesday, January 11th.

Saving Country Music says:

The guitar playing native of Oklahoma is famous for losing a coin flip to Ritchie Valens and giving his seat up on the fateful plane that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Valens, and The Big Bopper in 1959, also known as “The Day The Music Died.” Tommy had met Buddy Holly in 1958 in Clovis, New Mexico and became the lead guitarist for The Crickets. At the time of the crash, Buddy Holly was also touring with Waylon Jennings in his band, who also gave up his seat in the plane.

Tommy Allsup later became a producer and A&R man for Liberty Records, producing albums from Willie Nelson, Tex Williams, Billy Mize, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Rich, Bob Wills, Waylon Jennings, Zager and Evans, and others. Allsup also produced the first United Artist Records release for Ray Benson’s resurgent Western Swing group Asleep at The Wheel in 1972, and the very last LP of Bob Wills in 1973.

Along with producing, Tommy Allsup’s guitar work can be heard on many iconic recordings of American music, including Buddy Holly’s “It’s so Easy,” The Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown,” and Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” In total, as a session musician Tommy Allsup performed on over 6,500 recordings.

Throughout his life, Tommy Allsup was a tireless supporter of Rockabilly and Western Swing, and is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 1979 he opened up a club in Dallas called “Tommy’s Head Up Saloon” commemorating the coin flip he’d lost 20 years prior.

Supreme Member
Posts: 2602
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:38 am

Re: Legendary Rockabilly & Western Swing guitarist Tommy All

Post by Smudger » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:24 am

Here's a little bit of his distinctive guitar playing:

Post Reply