Tour of Historical Norman Petty Studios

Highlights from my tour of Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico, last Saturday morning. The history of rock and roll here is amazing and just standing in the same room where so many icons recorded was awesome! Buddy Holly with Waylon Jennings in the band (Petty was their producer), Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison….

Getting to see Petty’s recording and mixing equipment up close was fascinating and inspiring, too. Some classic hardware that is often referenced today, yet much different than what we use now. He was also accomplished in his own right as the Norman Petty Trio, including his wife, Violet (Vi) and John Vaughan.

Next, I met David Bingham, who was a member of The Roses trio and sang backup on countless Petty productions, including Roy Orbison, et al. We talked about his musical experiences at the studio and life in general, as well as recording and modern production techniques. At age 84, he’s as vibrant as ever!

David, his wife Marilyn, and Kendra (daughter of the current owner) were delightful people, and they are sharing a wonderful piece of musical history. Robert Plant, Jeff Bridges, et al, have made the sojourn. Duane Eddy showed up one day not long ago and he and David reminisced together. They hadn’t seen each other since 1958!

So honored that I got to meet these fine people. And it was accidental! I mentioned Clovis enroute to ABQ for the New Mexico Music Awards when I toured Waymore’s the evening before (Waylon Jennings museum owned by his brother Jim in Littefield, Texas), and Mrs. Jennings asked if I was going to visit the Petty museum. I had no idea it was open. Checked online and tours are listed by appt only with two weeks advanced notice. So, I wrote it off and just stopped outside to take a photo of the exterior. And then….

Stop in if you can. I enjoyed a wonderful visit that made me giddy for two days!

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