Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 60-Year Musical Odyssey
www.hillmanweb.com/book  ::  Roots and Influences


PETTY BIO ~ PICS ~ CLIPS

 
On August 14, 1984, American record producer and performer, Norman Petty whose recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico was responsible for seminal recordings by the likes of Buddy Holly and Buddy Knox, died in Lubbock, Texas of leukemia. The King of Clovis, a book about Petty by Frank Blanas, was published in 2014.

Following a stint in the US Army, Petty and his wife, Vi, founded the Norman Petty Trio with guitarist Jack Vaughn. Due to the local success of their independent debut release of "Mood Indigo", they landed a recording contract with RCA Records. Despite the success of his own records, Petty began construction of his Clovis studio in late 1954. The new studio was state of the art, his estimated spending at about $100,000, a significant sum at the time. With the success of "Almost Paradise" it was completed to its current state in mid 1957. In his original 7th Street studio, aside from songs for his own musical group he also produced early singles (several which were hits) for Texas musicians Roy Orbison, Buddy Knox ("Party Doll" was recorded at Petty's studio), Waylon Jennings, Charlie "Sugartime" Phillips, Sonny West, Carolyn Hester and Terry Noland. He also produced all of Buddy Holly's recordings that can be classified as rockabilly. The hits "Sugar Shack" and "Bottle of Wine" by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs and "Wheels" by the String-A-Longs were recorded at Petty's studio in the early 1960s. His Clovis Studio was one of the top "go-to" studios for early rockabilly and guitar instrumental (surf) sounds in the early 1960s.

Many of Holly's best and most polished efforts were produced at the Clovis studio. After Holly's death, Petty was put in charge of overdubbing unfinished Holly recordings by request of the Holley family (Buddy's parents) and demos, which had charting success overseas.
Petty produced a number of Canadian recording artists, including Wes Dakus & the Rebels, Barry Allen, Gainsborough Gallery, and the Happy Feeling. Winnipeg's Gettysbyrg Address recorded with Petty.

Early on, Petty served as Buddy Holly's manager however he was later accused of siphoning off much of Holly's royalties leaving Buddy with little. Petty also attached his name to Holly's song credits thus claiming half the songwriting royalties. Petty had taken control of Holly and the bandís finances, and the singer never seemed to earn enough. Holly became suspicious of Petty and planned to sack him however he died before doing so. When Holly died, his Lubbock bank account had a balance of only $73.34.

~ John Einarson  

 
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NEWS ARCHIVE
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PHOTO MEMORIES
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REMEMBERING BUDDY HOLLY
Page 1
Intro | Photos | Clippings
Page 2
Hollywood Star
Page 3
Scrapbook
Page 4
Film | Photos
Page 5
Buddy Holly Centre
Page 6
Walk of Fame
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THE NORMAN PETTY ROCK 'N' ROLL MUSEUM :: CLOVIS, NM
Page 1
Hillman Studio Visit
Page 2
Museum Overview
Page 3
Memorabilia
Page 4
Petty Bio
Page 5
Collectibles
Page 6
Petty Artists
Page 7
Buddy Holly


BILL and SUE-ON HILLMAN:
A 50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY
www.hillmanweb.com/book

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