IN January 1959, Buddy Holly began the Winter Dance Party Tour, a string of dates across the American Midwest with Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper and Dion and the Belmonts.

Now that vintage rock and roll touring show — packed with 40 monster hits — is being recreated as a celebration of their music and comes to Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre next month.

The line-up includes Marc Robinson, who plays the late Buddy Holly, killed in a plane crash half a century ago, which also claimed the lives of Jiles P Richardson — known as the Big Bopper — and 17-year-old Valens.

“They said it was the day rock and roll died when Buddy was killed, and in a way it was because I’m sure Buddy would have rivalled Elvis Presley for popularity,” said Marc.

“While Elvis had the looks and the charisma, Buddy had the creative song-writing talent.

“He was only 22 when he died, and had already had a string of hit records and a number one in America and Britain with That’ll be the Day. He would have been a true rock and roll megastar.”

Marc added: “Buddy is often described as the most influential of the early rock and roll musicians, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles said that his music was a great influence on their writing.

“His music had a timeless feel to it, and when we play the shows it is amazing how many young people come along who are discovering Buddy’s music for the first time.

“The girl who runs the Buddy Holly fan club in England is just 23. We’ve got people of all generations who love the music and what Buddy stood for.”

When he acquired the tailor-made Holly suits, huge horn-rimmed glasses and, of course, the legendary Fender Stratocaster guitar, Marc Robinson’s Tribute to Buddy Holly was born.

Now he tours the nostalgic tribute act all over the world, and added: “I loved rock and roll music at school, and Buddy Holly was one of my heroes.

“His music was my hobby, and now I’m living the dream singing his hits and helping to re-create that incredible era.”

*Buddy Holly’s Winter Dance Party, the Grand, Clitheroe, Friday, February 10. Details from 01200 421599.