Artists revive rock ‘n’ roll legends

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Buddy Holly tribute artist Johnny Rogers got up close and personal with the crowd during the last concert of the music festival Saturday night.

Sharna Johnson

While Bobby Brooks did “the Twist” on stage, dozens of area elementary students in poodle skirts and jeans twisted in front of the stage, girls reaching out to grab his hand while screaming and swooning.

The final concert of the music festival resurrected the early days of rock ‘n’ roll and gave the crowd a thrill with the looks and sounds of Buddy Holly, Elvis, Little Richard and more.

Tribute artists Kevin Montgomery and Johnny Rogers took to the stage followed by The originators of Rock and Roll with Rogers as Buddy Holly, Bobby Brooks as Little Richard, Darrel Croy as Jerry Lee Lewis and Donny Edwards as Elvis, backed by the Killer Vees.

The crowd for Saturday’s concert was the largest for the festival with 2,300 people, said Ernie Kos, executive director of the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce.

Events center manager Kevin Jolley said the concerts held at the facility were a success and worked out well.

“I’m very, very pleased,” he said. “I think everybody’s having a great time.”

“It’s a great show,” said Carl Melinat of Clovis.

Melinat said he attended all the concerts this year and “I think every one has been great.”

Montgomery and Rogers are returning festival favorites after their tribute performances honoring Holly and Montgomery’s father Bob Montgomery entertained crowds at the 2009 festival.

Rogers, a nationally known Chicago native, also performed at the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce Banquet in January.

“It’s awesome. We’re having a very good time,” said Mercedes Garcia as she and her friend Josie Baca listened to the music from the upper walkway.

“We’ve been trying to dance a lot,” Baca said as she swung her hips to the music and smiled.

The music festival will wrap up today with a 10 a.m. gospel sing-along held at the Norman and Vi Petty Rock & Roll Museum.

Today is also the final day of the Rockin’ Motorcycle Rally. Events begin at 8 a.m. at High Plains Harley-Davidson.