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‘Buddy’ Opens Tonight At Cadillac Palace

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A show opening tonight in Chicago pays tribute to the man who’s been called “the father of rock and roll.”

Buddy Holly had a very short career.

In those three years before he was killed in a 1959 plane crash, together with Richie Valens and the Big Bopper, his influence on music was immeasurable.

In the stage musical “Buddy”, Kurt Jenkins is one of two actors who alternate the role.

He says Holly’s loss to the music world was enormous.

“If you hear the last bit of music that he was beginning to record at the time of his death, just acoustic demos and things like that, it was apparent that if he had lived, American pop music would have been changed even more.”

Jenkins says the show draws Buddy Holly fans from across all age groups, but the audience is mainly composed of baby boomers.

“That’s the demographic that grew up with Buddy Holly. I joke and say that I’ve never seen so many teenagers with AARP cards.”

By the time the show ends, he says, the audience is dancing in the aisles.

“That’s always a blast to see people who probably haven’t danced like that in years. To be standing up and in the aisles, it’s magical every time you see it.”

“Buddy” runs at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, through June 30.

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