12th January 2017
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Tommy Allsup on January 11, 2017 at the age of 85.
Tommy and local business partner Gorman Maxwell built the first real recording studio in Odessa, Texas and helped many of us in the area get started in recorded music. The studio was originally called Westex and still operates today as Trans Global Productions, owned by Bob Bailey
Bob was also a sixties band-mate of mine in a group called The Shades. Tommy Allsup used us as a backing band for a couple of new artists he produced. One of which was his Buddy Holly band-mate, drummer Carl Bunch. Carl recorded two songs for a 45 rpm single that was released under the pseudonym, K.C. Grand & The Shades. The two songs were That's The Way The Cards Fall and Lookie, Lookie, Lookie.
Despite his long resume as a guitarist and producer including collaborations with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Bob Wills and Hank Thompson, he was perhaps best known to the public as the loser of a coin toss with Richie Valens in 1959 for a seat on a private plane with Buddy Holly after a gig in Iowa. Buddy and Richie of course died that day when the plane crashed, while Tommy and his Crickets bandmate Waylon Jennings lived on to have long and successful careers.
Tommy's family and friends are in our thoughts.