Tommy Allsup, Legendary Musician & Luckiest Loser of a Coin Flip Dies at Age 85

LUBBOCK, TX - A musician who played with Buddy Holly died Wednesday according to the Buddy Holly Center and other sources. Tommy Allsup was 85.

Among Buddy Holly fans, Allsup was known for many things including a fateful coin toss before the plane crash that took Holly’s life in Clear Lake, Iowa.  Allsup and Ritchie Valens had a coin toss to see who would get on the plane. 

Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Buddy Holly lost their lives along with the pilot, Roger Peterson, on the morning of February 3, 1959. 

Allsup was born in Owasso, Oklahoma and died in Lubbock.  He was a guitarist or producer with Buddy, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison, Bob Wills and others. 

The Buddy Holly Center posted on Facebook, “The staff at the Buddy Holly Center extends its condolences to Tommy's family during this difficult time. Rave on, Tommy!”


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