CLOVIS, N.M. and Lubbock, Texas — Buddy Holly and Norman Petty changed Rock and Roll forever. Most Lubbock residents know Holly came from Lubbock. And many think that all of Buddy Holly’s recordings started here in the Hub City. But actually, we need to look 98 miles to the northwest to the town of Clovis, New Mexico to see where the music started.
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On 7th street in Clovis is the Norman Petty studios — home to one of the most important rock & roll producers of the late ’50s, Norman Petty. His name will forever be inextricably linked with Buddy Holly.
The Norman Petty Studios in Clovis attracted scads of local talent from West Texas and around the Southwest including Buddy Knox, The Fireballs, Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings.
It was at Petty’s studio that Roy Orbison did his first recordings, even predating Orbison’s Sun Records sessions.
David Bigham was there for many of those important moments. Bigham was part of “The Roses”, a vocal group from Odessa, which started in 1956.
“Norman was a perfectionist to begin with,” Bigham said. “But he also did not believe that creativity came by the hour. If you’re not relaxed and comfortable – if you’re tense afraid you’re going to make a mistake, or whatever, then you’re not going to get a take.”
Petty charged by the session, not by the hour. The studio remains the same today as did in the days of Buddy Holly.
Tours of Norman Petty Studio by appointment only.
Address: 1313 W 7th St, Clovis, NM 88101
Phone: (575) 356-6422
Norman and Vi Petty Rock and Roll Museum
105 E. Grand Avenue
Clovis, NM 88101