Fifties Foto Flashback: Kids in the Crowd

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.

Hi folks, Retro Dee here with another Fifties Foto Flashback!

Fifties Foto Flashback S1 E8: “Kids in the Crowd”

For Buddy Holly month on Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever, I’m featuring  this photo taken during one of The Crickets’ shows. I found this photo on Pinterest and like most of the photos in this segment, I don’t know its original source.

Of the hundreds of photos of Buddy and The Crickets, this one appealed to me for this segment because of the fact that it’s shot from the audience’s perspective. And what a young audience they are.


Buddy Holly performs in front of a young audience circa 1958. Source: Pinterest


None of these kids appear to be much over the age of 12.  I’m not sure why that is, but it’s kind of interesting when you think about how technically, The Crickets were the first boy band, and boy bands typically have very young audiences– some who are not even in high school yet… Can you believe that these kids are in their 70’s today?!

The youngest in this particular shot is the little girl who is turning away from the stage, halfway towards the camera. She can’t be more than seven. The other kids seem to be anywhere from 9 to 12.

However, my first reaction when I saw this photo on Pinterest was not the age of the audience. My initial reaction was to note the point of view of the photographer. From this perspective, you can imagine standing there, behind these kids, and looking up on stage… and there’s Buddy Holly– something that so many of us wish we could have experienced.

To the left of Buddy, we see Joe B. Mauldin with his bass and what I noticed just this second as I type this (I kid you not) is just behind Joe, you can barely make out Jerry Allison sitting on the drums.

The stage almost looks like a barn, but that’s probably just the angle the photo was taken at. It’s an outdoor show, as you can tell by the trees on the right hand side of the photo and the open sky just above that.

Time-wise, this appears to be sometime in 1958. It looks like Buddy has his trademark horn-rimmed glasses which he actually only wore for a little over a year.

So if you’re wondering what it must have been like being a kid in the 50’s at a Buddy Holly and The Crickets show, it probably looked a lot like this photo… When you think of all the re-enactments of a show like this, it kind of makes this picture more special when you realize you’re looking at the real thing.


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