I had the pleasure of driving to Clear Lake, Iowa on February 4th to cover the "Winter Dance Party" for three days. I arrived just in time to catch my good friend Alan Clark's performance in the Surf Ballroom lounge at noon. He had traveled all the way from California. Alan, who also plays lead guitar, has been doing a tribute to Eddie Cochran for several years and gave a fast paced Rock and Roll show starting off with Cochran's "C'mon Everybody." During his set he rocked the house with songs from the likes of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Vincent, the Big Bopper and some of his own original tunes. Alan, along with his group, the Classics, really put on a fantastic show to a standing room only crowd. Alan closed his 90 minute show with Cochran's signature hit, "Summertime Blues" to a very enthusiastic crowd. Right after their performance they went straight to the Clear Lake Middle School and performed with other artists for the kids. They had entertained the school kids the day before at the Garner-Hayfield Middle School in Garner, Iowa.
While Alan was on stage at the Surf, I noticed that our old friend Freddy Cannon was finishing his sound check in the main ballroom for that evening's show. I brought him over to the lounge to hear Alan for a while. Freddy never knew that Alan played guitar and sang. He only knew that he was a photographer and a writer. Alan has just published a book called "The Life & Times of Buddy Holly & the Crickets."
Alan and the Classics are a tight group with excellent musicianship and should really be on the main stage rather than the lounge. This was Alan's 4th straight year performing at the "Winter Dance Party." He has entertained the kids at the local area schools for a number of years. Alan's band consisted of Graham Pugh on lead guitar, (Alan and Graham take turns sharing leads), brothers John Reagan on bass guitar and Will Reagan on drums. They all hail from the Oklahoma City area.
Shortly after Alan returned back home to California he got a call from former "Cricket" Tommy Allsup, saying how he was impressed with Alan and the Classics and wanted to know if they would like to play some shows with him. What a nice opportunity.

2/15/2010 Mike Marx--Hannibal Courier-Post Reporter