Sonny West will be playing at the Clovis Musical Festival. West wrote the Buddy Holly’s classic hit songs “Oh Boy” and “Rave On.” File photo

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer

The spirit of rock ‘n’ roll will be resurrected at the upcoming Clovis Music Festival.

Artists slated to appear at the event which starts Wednesday and runs through Saturday are the Fireballs, Tommy Roe, The String-A-Longs and Sonny West.

The LA Party Dolls will provide lively entertainment during a sock hop on Thursday night. The trio will sing songs from the 50s and Chamber of Commerce officials are encouraging residents to dress in poodle skirts and saddle shoes.

Buddy Holly tribute artist Mike Berry will perform at the festival for the first time on Saturday night. Berry said he was flattered to be asked to participate.

“I grew up on the music created in Clovis,” Berry said, “and it got me singing. “The England native has often been called the “British Buddy Holly” and is known for his hit song “A Tribute to Buddy Holly.”

Berry said he loves performing and is looking forward to entertaining the Clovis music fans.

“I don’t have one (Buddy Holly song) favorite,” he said, “but my favorite Buddy Holly track is Rave On.”

Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce marketing and special events co-ordinator Liz Eisenbraun said the festival is always a special occasion.

“This (music festival) means everything to me,” she said. “It is close to my heart.”

The 50s music enthusiast said the festival gives people the opportunity to learn about Clovis’ rich musical history.

“I don’t take the history here for granted,” Eisenbraun said. “I have a great appreciation for it (history).

Residents and visitors will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in Clovis’ musical history during the festival. Tours of the Norman Petty Studios, which are normally given by appointment only, will be offered throughout each day.

A tour of the downtown theaters, including the Mesa Theater, the Lyceum Theater and the historic State Theater is also scheduled with Sonny West as host.

“The festival is another great way of keeping the music of Buddy Holly and the Crickets alive and recognizing their contribution to the history of music,” Berry said. “Long may it last.”