On the fortieth anniversary of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, in 1973, the Man and his band that created “Western Swing” got together to make music. As a result, The album, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys For The Last Time Was Born.
For The Last Time was recorded December 3rd and 4th 1973 at Sumet-Burnet Studio, Dallas Texas. Besides The King Bob Wills, personnel listed in the record include a great line-up of Country and Western musicians.
The musicians on the album include Merle Haggard, Hoyle and Jody Nix and more.
Tommy Allsup produced the album and is also listed as one of the bass players. Tommy was that guy, the one who lost a coin toss to Ritchie Valens and lost his seat on the plane that crashed, killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie, and the Big Bopper. Investigators originally thought that Allsup had perished in the crash. Allsup had given his wallet to Buddy Holly prior to that fateful flight so that Buddy could use his I.D. to claim postage on his behalf. Allsup was expecting a package sent General Delivery from his mother.
The Winter Dance Party tour continued even after the death of the star musicians. Allsup finished the tour with Waylon Jennings the bass player of the band singing Buddy Holly’s songs. Dion and the Belmonts were brought in as headliners.
One of Tommy Allsup’s most noted accomplishments in music is his guitar solo in Buddy Holly’s, ”It’s So Easy.” It has become a classic.
Allsup is known for his associations with Buddy Holly and Bob Wills. Tommy Allsup a rockabilly and swing guitarist also played back up for Kenny Rogers.
Besides producing The Last Time, he also produced Bob Wills 24 Greatest Hits. He spent time in Odessa, Texas working with Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson. Tommy Allsup also produced for Asleep at the Wheel and Produced the Zager and Evans hit, “In the Year 2525.” As a session musician, Tommy played on nearly 7000 sessions. Later Tommy would open a club in Dallas he called the club “The Heads Up Saloon”
Thomas Douglas Allsup was born in Owasso, Oklahoma. He was a member of the Cherokee Nation. Allsup died in Springfield, Missouri on January 11, 2017, the last surviving member of Buddy Holly’s “touring” Crickets for the 1959 Winter Dance Party.
THE COIN TOSS
“Everything in life is subject to the will of God.”Hal Looney.
Tommy and Ritchie Valens coin toss on the night of February 2nd 1959 in the Surf Ballroom, Clearlake, Iowa changed history. What if Tommy had been on that plane and Ritchie had not? I’d like to think that Valens would have had a long and productive career. I think his crossover talents from Mexican folk music to rock and roll would have been more evolved than he had already done with “La Bamba.”
This morning my wife and I were talking about this event. How many times has my own life changed direction at the “flip” of a single coin? I would like to say that my life isn’t necessarily controlled by me. I believe in divine direction. A belief in God’s will and not my own. It is usually when my own self will gets involved that I get into trouble. My wife reminded that a man named Hal Looney once told us that everything in life is subject to the will of God. Sometimes I feel that my life is traveling along in the right direction and then in a single event that happens everything changes. Life is complicated like that at times.
Perhaps, Tommy and Ritchie’s coin toss was the will of God. I would like to think that it was more than just coincidence.
I want to believe that the coin keeps landing on the right side up for me and my life. I know that when it’s over it will be over even if my coin lands on tails, I will accept it.