Collecting 1950’s: Inspired By Buddy

Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.

Hello folks! It’s Retro Dee and I know we just recently did a Collecting post, but for Buddy Holly month, I’d like to do another, featuring items in my personal collection that were inspired by him.

“Inspired” is the operative word. I’m not your conventional Buddy Holly fan, and I don’t collect a lot of items that are directly related to him. Most of what I am intrigued by are things that allude to him, especially things that represent his life prior to stardom, growing up in Lubbock.

Some of these items aren’t 1950’s at all! Buddy Holly was born in 1936, so a couple of things are from that year.

Let’s have a look at what Buddy-related items I’ve amassed over the last 3 years…

First, we have a couple of letters and postcards. Postcards are always a go-to item when you have a historical interest. Letters can be interesting too, although I chose these because of their postmarks.

Note the envelope on the top left. It has the Texas Centennial Seal —  I purchased it because of the postmark: San Angelo TEX., 11:30 AM Sept. 7, 1936. This was approximately 4 hours before Buddy Holly’s birth in Lubbock. (I have not yet found a letter postmarked from Lubbock for that date, but for now San Angelo is close enough!) The letter next to it is also postmarked San Angelo, Sept. 7, 1936.

The postcard on the bottom left is from the Texas Centennial Celebrations in Dallas, and the one on the right is of the Texas blue bells in a field. It’s postmarked Fort Worth, Sept. 12, 1936.

Letters and postcards from around the exact time of Buddy’s birth (1936)
Close up of postmark


This next item was surprisingly inexpensive. I purchased it on Etsy a couple of years ago. It’s a silver-plated souvenir spoon from the Texas Centennial Celebrations in Dallas.

Texas Centennial Souvenir Spoon. Engraved on the bottom: “1836 CENTENNIAL 1936”


This next group of items contains two souvenir coins from the Texas Centennial, a 1936 advertising calendar from Mobile and a pin from Hard Rock Cafe.  The pin is from the 1998 “Dead Rocker Series” and features Buddy’s guitar. (It says “Buddy Holly” on it, but it’s hard to see in the picture)

Note that on the calendar, Sundays and Holidays are marked in RED. The day of Buddy’s birth, September 7, was Labor Day that year and is also marked in red!


Next up, finally something with Buddy’s picture on it.  The USPS Buddy Holly Stamp issued in 1993. This stamp was part of the Legends of America Music Series.

There’s a “This Time It’s Personal” post about this stamp coming up, so stay tuned! You won’t want to miss my shocking confession.

Now, I can just hear some of you say: “You have a shocking confession about a STAMP?”

Well, let’s just say I haven’t had the most interesting life.

So here it is, I think the artwork is superb. I purchased it on Etsy:


Buddy Holly stamp, 1993


Alright. Then there’s the collector’s pin version of the stamp (shown below). I just adore both of these!

Collector’s pin version of the 1993 stamp licensed by the USPS


The next two items are pennants which I recently featured in the previous “Collecting 1950’s” post. There’s a Texas Centennial pennant and a pennant from Tom S. Lubbock High School, Buddy’s alma mater (his graduating class was 1955, but the pennant is from much later, I believe.)

Texas Centennial Souvenir Pennant circa 1936
Lubbock High Pennant (ca. 1970s) where Buddy Holly was Class of 1955


Speaking of the historic Lubbock High, I also have the following items: four Lubbock High postcards circa 1950’s (it says on the back that the pop. of Lubbock is 40,000 — today it’s around 300,000)

Postcards of Lubbock High School circa 1950s


And I got this Lubbock High School Alumni Directory printed in 2015. This might beg the question as to why I’d want an alumni directory from Lubbock High since I don’t personally know anyone who went there. However, I’ve found it’s come in handy when I want to see if when/if Buddy’s contemporaries graduated. A few pages in, there’s a list of notable graduates and Buddy is at the top of it.

Lubbock High Alumni Directory purchased on eBay!


Inside the LHS Directory: Noted Graduates


Then there’s my 2009 commemorative Lubbock Centennial coin. I love how it alludes to Buddy Holly with the guitar on the back side of the coin. It’s beautifully designed and I purchased it online from Don’s Toys in Lubbock.

Front side of the Lubbock Centennial Souvenir Coin
Back side of coin featuring an electric guitar alluding to the musical culture that Buddy made Lubbock famous for.


I purchased this special necklace from Fay West Designs. It’s a guitar pick with “Rave On” stamped on it and it also has an engraving of Sonny West’s autograph. Did I mention that the owner is Sonny West’s daughter? Yes, THE Sonny West who wrote “Oh Boy!” and “Rave On”, two of my favorite songs. I almost fainted when I came across her store on Etsy. She was selling these along with her other beautiful designs and I just had to have one!

“Rave On” necklace signed by Sonny West from FayWestDesigns


This next item is near and dear to my heart. My older cousin (my Dad’s 1st cousin) is a good friend of mine and we have been pen pals for nearly 20 years. When she found out that I love Buddy Holly, she sent me this Playbill from “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story”. The Playbill is from 1990 when it first opened on Broadway. My cousin and her (now late) husband were in New York and got to see it at Shubert Theater! Paul Hipp played Buddy Holly. I had the Playbill matted and framed and it hangs next to the poster in my bedroom.

Playbill from the Broadway debut of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at The Shubert Theater, 1990 (excuse the flash)


Finally is my “Words Of Love” poster…

Stock photo of poster


This poster has Buddy in one of his most breathtaking poses — how many people can wear a tux and hold an electric guitar and look amazing while doing it? When the doors to my bedroom are open, this poster stops traffic in the living room (I live in a split-level house) It’s that stunning. The stock is a little heavy so I have to keep re-smoothing it out on the wall, but one day I might get a giant frame for it.

Holly the cat (lower right) poses near her namesake’s poster.


And there’s my cat, Holly posing by the poster (yes she is named after Buddy, but no, she is not considered part of the collection.) and there’s the framed Playbill to the right. (I’ll be getting something for the bottom space soon, let’s hope so anyway)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my non-conventional Buddy Holly collection. I told you it was strange. Of course, not pictured here are the 500++ photos of Buddy that I’ve downloaded to my personal computer’s hard drive. I also have numerous photos of him pinned on Pinterest. But non-tangible digital stuff doesn’t count as a collection. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself. 🙂

Voting continues in the eighth annual Great 88 surveys.  Pick your 10 favorite songs from  1963 and 1956  here daily.  A full first round schedule and additional information can be found here.   You can also find the results of earlier surveys in the Great 88 section.

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