Airdate – Feb 05, 2023
For some of us, it is hard to believe that it has been 64 years since the infamous plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and pilot Roger Peterson.
On that Winter Dance Party tour with these three early day stars of Rock & Roll were Dion & The Belmonts who were riding high on their 1958 release on Billboard, “I Wonder Why.” According to Dion he opted out of grabbing a seat on the plane because of the cost … $35. That amount was equivalent to the monthly rent he was paying back home.
Also on the tour was another singer who was billed as an “Extra Attraction” …
This not so well known performer was born in 1936 into an American-Italian family whose home was in Brooklyn, New York.
After serving in Korea, he returned to the US and started doing comedy including performing at the Catskills in New York State.
He was subsequently encouraged to record a song written by his brother. ABC-Paramount liked it and released it. It became a regional hit. As a result, he was invited to join Holly, the Big Bopper, Valens, and Dion & the Belmonts on the Winter Dance Party tour. The tour was not his first but it was his last. He did some more recordings up to 1962 and then packed it in, turning his attention to first owning a night club in New Orleans and then becoming a film actor and producer.
In February of 2010 this performer, Frankie Sardo, was invited to do an interview at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, a place he had not been to since February 2, 1959.
Reflecting back on that tour he is quick to point out that he did not take things seriously and for him everything was pure fun. Smiling, he states that when they were not performing, they were telling jokes and laughing with Holly and the Bopper front and center.
That’s probably why he did not get upset with the promotional poster for the tour. Aside from being the only performer without his picture on display, the creators made a significant error by incorrectly printing the title of his hit tune as “Take Out.”
The correct title of Frankie Sardo’s song is “Fake Out” and it’s this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.