Infamous Lubbock Cotton Club marker to be relocated

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas- According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot), there are plans to relocate the marker representing the 1938 Cotton Club venue.

Diana Ascencio, with TxDot, said they and the Texas Historical Commission have worked together to relocate the marker about two thousand feet south of where the current marker is located at 4820 Southeast Dr.

Severe, owner at Jerry’s Truck Repair off Southeast Drive, said when he purchased the land where his business sits in 2005, his friend informed him that it was the actual site of the original Cotton Club. However, Severe said he didn’t think too much of it.

Over the years Severe said he did extensive research and even interviewed people who were around when the club was active.

“I started doing research, gong to Texas Tech local history and found that it was true, the Cotton Club was on [my] property,” said Severe.

Severe said once the marker was installed in 2008, he reached out to various historical groups to tell them it was in the wrong place, but said he didn’t get anywhere so he let it go.

“This girl wrote an article about the Cotton Club, it was her senior thesis at Texas Tech and she did a lot of research and she stated in [her] article that the location was on the South side of 50. ”

Ashley Branch wrote the thesis Severe read and said the Cotton Club was the place where Buddy Holly first saw Elvis Presley with his music partner Bob Montgomery.

“They watched the response he got at the Cotton Club and Buddy Holly supposedly turned to Bob and said, ‘We got to change,'” said Branch. “They sold their guitars, they had like acoustic western swing guitars and they sold them for electric Stratocasters so they could be like Elvis and sound like Elvis.”

Branch said the original Cotton Club burned down in 1958 and the cause is still being debated.

Severe said he reached out to the Texas Historical Commission who later confirmed the marker was not in the right location. Severe said it was all worth doing the research and to advocate for the relocation of the marker.

“I did it for Buddy Holly, I did it for Elvis and all the guys that played there but mainly for the people in Lubbock that patronized that place back in the 50’s that meant so much to them.”

Ascencio said TxDot’s priority will be installing other signage in the city such as regulatory and directional signage but that if weather permits, they will try to have the sign relocated by the end of the July 19th week.

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