November 24, 1931 – January 11, 2017
Tommy Allsup was an influential rockabilly and western swing guitarist, but he was also one of the luckiest people in all of popular music. While on tour with Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson in February of 1959 – he was in Holly’s band – Allsup was on the “losing” end of the infamous coin toss that gave his seat up to Valens who was killed with the others when the plane crashed. After Holly’s death, Allsup went to work for Liberty Records where he produced records by Willie Nelson and Tex Williams, among others. Although he was most famous for his playing on Holly’s records, Allsup also recorded with the likes of Bob Wills, The Ventures, Kenny Rogers, The Everly Brothers, and Roy Orbison. Tommy Allsup was 85 when he died on January 11, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.