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Norman Petty Studios

77 Reviews
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Norman Petty Studios

77 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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lyndamalia wrote a review Nov 2019
Perth, United Kingdom27 contributions6 helpful votes
We had a great visit to the studio and were made to feel very welcome by Kenneth and Shirley. We were also thrilled to meet David, of the band "The Roses"...who toured with Buddy Holly. If you ever get to Clovis...I urge you to visit this wonderful studio.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Ian_and_Susanna wrote a review Oct 2019
Horsham District, United Kingdom32 contributions16 helpful votes
In 1960 about a year after Buddy Holly died, Norm Petty opened a new recording studio in a converted theatre across the road from the former garage which was his original studio. It remained closed and untouched until 1986 when his wife Vi opened it up to visitors. Kenneth Broad, a long-time family friend who originally helped Vi when Norm died took over the baton when she passed away, and with the help of David Bigham (a former backing singer on several of Buddy's records) and his wife Maryline continues to offer studio tours for small groups today. These are informal and very informative, while the chance to sit at Norm's control desk, see (and touch) all the original equipment, the studio, kitchen and sleeping quarters and maybe sing along with David (still in very good voice!) is something really rather special. Kenneth lives out of town so tours do need to be confirmed a couple of weeks ahead. Also as neither he or David are as young as they were, how long the pleasure of meeting them and sharing their experiences will continue is uncertain. Nick Mondragon at the Clovis Chamber Of Commerce should be able to help you to set up a visit-which is a must for serious Buddy Holly fans. Finally Kenneth David and Maryline, thanks, it was a privilege to meet you.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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ondossagonchick wrote a review Oct 2019
Ashland, Wisconsin183 contributions42 helpful votes
+1
Our son was just stationed at Cannon Air Force Base. He and his family live in Clovis. We had no idea that a recording studio was located there or has the history- that this one has. But touring it takes some work. It is available for tours by appointment only! You must contact the Clovis Chamber of Commerce. They w zveeill give you the number to call for a tour. Ken Broad, an older gentleman gave us our tour. He is a walking encyclopedia about this recording studio. He gave a very relaxed tour, giving youthe opportunity to sit in the chair recording artists such as Buddy Holly, Bobby Vee, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, and so many more. As we toured the small control room, he played numerous Buddy Holly records. Beautiful sound. You then walk through the struthmall entry where the drummers usually sat. Then into the large recording room, where there are several guitars, pianos, organs, typewriter that typed notes, and so much trivia. They only recorded at night after midnight so traffic on the highway didn't interfer. The facility was set up to allow singers/band to stay there. Complete with kitchen, bathroom, and livingroom/bedroom. Everything decorated as it was originally. It's truly a step back in time. Ken was so knowledgeable. He makes this recording studio come to life. Go....it's worth it.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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timetraveler8 wrote a review Sep 2019
Sterling Heights, Michigan540 contributions69 helpful votes
This is the real thing! If you're a music fan, especially rock 'n' roll, this is a must. Ken Broad provides an extremely knowledgeable, interesting, fun tour.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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speedy45rpm wrote a review Jul 2019
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania170 contributions80 helpful votes
It's difficult to add to the accolades already bestowed on the Norman Petty Studios. The entire time I was there, I kept thinking "I can't believe this is really here." Perfect preservation of the studio and adjoining apartment where Buddy Holly and others lived during recording sessions. Curators Ken Broad and David Bigham are the most gracious, kindly and informative hosts, along with Mrs. Bigham (whose first name I did not get.) I guess because the studio is not swarmed with visitors, you are permitted a very hands-on experience -- I got to play a few notes on the celeste that Vi Petty played on "Every Day" and whatever the keyboard instrument that sounds like a flute is called used in "Sugar Shack" by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs. Everyone gets a turn in the chair in the control room used by Buddy, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen and others while listening to playbacks of their songs through the original equipment. What a thrill to hear Dave Bigham sing along with his backing vocal parts in "It's So Easy" and "Think It Over." All of this for a free-will offering. Do be very generous to these sweet and devoted people. Also be sure to make your appointment-only reservation several weeks in advance, going first through the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, which will put you in touch with Ken Broad, to whom Norman Petty entrusted overseeing the studio. The reason for the appointment requirement is that Mr. Broad lives 20 miles away and is not in a position to simply be sitting in the studio 40 hours a week. Robert Plant and Duane Eddy, among others, made the trek here. And so should you if you have any interest in the roots of Rock and Roll. Deep gratitude to Mr. Broad and the Bighams for their magnificent work.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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