Get ready to twist!

(Above) Chubby Checker, who was part of the 2014 Winter Dance Party, will return for the 60th anniversary event. -Reporter file photo by Chris Barragy.

Surf Ballroom announces lineup to commemorate 60th anniversary of 1959 Winter Dance Party

Plans for the 2019 Winter Dance Party, scheduled for Jan. 30 - Feb. 2 at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, are well underway.  Event organizers announced a star studded, jam packed lineup Monday, featuring many rock ‘n roll greats and a long list of artists who have followed in the footsteps of their musical lineage… a tribute to the first generation of rock ‘n roll.

Surf Ballroom & Museum Board President Jeff Nicholas said, “It has been our goal from the beginning to include as many authentic rock ‘n roll acts as our budget would allow to make the 60th anniversary event one to remember. Celebrating and honoring the musical legacies of three of the greatest rock ‘n roll pioneers is a large part of our organization’s mission, and we are so humbled by all who have energetically agreed to be a part of it.”

Things will start rockin’ on Wednesday, Jan. 30, with the Winter Dance Party Family Sock Hop featuring The Whitesidewalls. The Whitesidewalls were part of the lineup during the first “Buddy Holly Tribute” back in 1979, and have performed during 15 of the 40 tribute events, the most of any musical act. Single-night tickets for the Family Sock Hop will be available for $15 in advance, $18 at the door.


Thursday night’s lineup features Jay and The Americans. The group, started by four teenage boys in Sandy Yaguda’s Brooklyn basement 50 years ago, is one of the lasting success stories in rock ‘n roll history.  From 1962 to 1971, this group charted an amazing 12 top 10 records. With three original band members, founding member Sandy Yaguda; original member Howie Kirschenbaum; and original member Marty Kupersmith, plus the addition of Jay Reincke, the third and likely the best “Jay” yet, they will bring the authentic sound of their greatest hits to the Surf in February.

Also featured Thursday will be rhythm and blues/soul/early rock ‘n roll vocal group, Little Anthony and The Imperials. Their first single was “Tears on My Pillow,” which was an instant hit. Little Anthony and The Imperials enjoyed even greater success in the 1960s with a string of chart singles, including “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop” in 1960, and back-to-back top 10 hits with “Goin’ Out of My Head” (number six) and “Hurt So Bad” (number 10) in 1964. The group charted 10 more singles between the mid-1960s and mid-70s, including “Take Me Back” and “I Miss You So.” In 1974 they reached number 25 on the R&B chart with “I’m Falling in Love With You.”

Other performers featured Thursday evening will be Robin Luke, and The Good Clean Fun Band. Luke was 16 when he became a national teen idol whose contemporaries included Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, Ritchie Valens, Frankie Avalon, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers. He is best remembered for his big hit, “Susie Darlin,’” in 1958, which was named after his then five-year-old sister, Susie.

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