Collecting 1950’s: Inspired By Buddy

Retro Dee writes about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s on this site.  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 today I’m featuring items in my personal collection that were inspired by my favorite musician of all time, Buddy Holly.

“Inspired” is the operative word. I’m not your conventional Buddy Holly fan, and I don’t collect many 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 few 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 great state of Texas Centennial Seal —  but I really 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 100 miles away in Lubbock. (I have not yet found a letter postmarked from Lubbock for that date, but for now San Angelo is close enough!)

Close up of postmark

This next item was surprisingly inexpensive and a great find, I think! It’s a silver-plated souvenir spoon from the 1936 Texas Centennial Celebrations in Dallas. When a mysterious Texas spoon suddenly appeared in our kitchen, my family and friends alike knew that it had something to do with Buddy Holly. 🙂

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. Over the years, the USPS has issued some beautiful stamps, but none as beautiful as this.

I wrote a “This Time It’s Personal” post about this stamp too! Check it out for 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.

And here it is!:

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 also featured in a 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 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 Senior High postcards circa 1950’s (it says on the back that the population of Lubbock is 40,000. Today it’s 300,000++)

Postcards of Lubbock High School circa 1950s

I got this Lubbock High School Alumni Directory on eBay. It was printed in 2015, so it’s fairly recent.

This might beg the question as to why I’d want an alumni directory from Lubbock High School 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. Someday I’ll get a copy of the 1955 Yearbook. Yeah, right!


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 and they couldn’t have been nicer.

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.

This next item is near and dear to my heart. My older cousin (my Dad’s 1st cousin, in fact) is a good friend of mine and we have been pen pals for nearly 20 years. When she found out how much I adore Buddy Holly, she sent me this Playbill from the Broadway play “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story”.

The Playbill is from 1990 when the show very 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 and he was really cute like him too. 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…

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.

And there’s my cat, Holly posing by the poster in the lower right hand corner. (yes she is named after Buddy, but no, she is not considered part of the collection.) I’ll be getting something for the bottom space soon, once I decide on what picture I want!


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

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. 🙂

You can follow this blog here on WordPress and you can also follow Retro Dee on Twitter: @RealRetroDee  and on Instagram @mariepascal82 .

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