Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo Portales’ Will Banister started Friday’s set of acts with country music from his new album.
Brian Hyland had more than 2,000 people on back up when he sang his 1960’s hit “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” Friday at the Clovis Music Festival.
Organizers said about 2,200 fans came out to see Portales native Will Banister and the Mulberry Band, Hyland, Bobby Richards’ Coasters and Bobby Vee.
The festival was started in 1987 by Vi Petty in honor of her husband Norman Petty’s recording accomplishments. The festival continues 23 years later as a celebration of Petty and Buddy Holly.
Banister started the night with country songs such as “Give Me One Minute” and “Turned Her On To Country” with drums played by Curry County Magistrate Judge Duane Castleberry.
Hyland turned the focus to rock ‘n’ roll from the 1950s and 1960s with “Gypsy Woman” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.”
Eastern New Mexico University student Ben Boese, 21, said the show was incredible.
“This is amazing, really,” the broadcast production major said. “The fact that these hits are 60 years old and the musicians are up there still giving 100 percent. They still have it, you know.”
Boese said he came for the classic rock ‘n’ roll.
“I’ve been a rock ‘n’ roll fan since my dad showed me ‘American Graffiti,’ basically,” he said.
Berb DuBois, 54, of Clovis said that some of the music is from his time and he was enjoying it.
“The festival is getting better and better all the time,” DuBois said.
DuBois, a parts manager at High Plains Harley-Davidson, said the local Harley Owners Group chapter is working security for the event. The store is also hosting a motorcycle rally in conjunction with the festival.
Jimmy and Novella Webb, both 70, of Clovis said they were given tickets from his children for Friday night’s lineup of performers.
“I was a fan of the Coasters when they first came out,” Jimmy Webb said. “So I’m enjoying them.”
Webb said he and his wife have always been music fans and couldn’t wait to hear Bobby Vee live.
The four-day festival continues Saturday with Kevin Montgomery and Johnny Rogers, The Originators of Rock and Roll featuring Johnny Rogers as Buddy Holly, Bobby Brooks as Little Richard, Darrel Croy as Jerry Lee Lewis and Donny Edwards as Elvis, backed by the Killer Vees at the Curry County Events Center.