The country music world is in mourning this week after legendary guitarist Tommy Allsup, father of recent The Voice contestant Austin Allsup, passed away on Wednesday. He was 85 years-old.
Born in 1931, Allsup met Buddy Holly in 1958 and began touring with Buddy Holly & the Crickets. One year later, Holly hired a pilot to fly his band from Clear Lake, Iowa, to Fargo, N.D. after one of their concerts. Ritchie Valens had never flown before, so he flipped a coin with Allsup for the last spot on the plane.
During that flight on February 3, 1959, Holly, Valens, and the Big Bopper were all killed when the plane crashed for reasons that are still unknown.
— Josh Abbott (@joshabbottband) January 12, 2017
After the tragedy, Allsup led the crickets to finish their tour.
Taste of Country reported that throughout the next few decades, Allsup worked with the likes of Ronnie Smith, Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson. His son Austin competed on season 11 of The Voice this past fall, competing on Blake Shelton’s team. Austin ended up placing in the top ten of the competition.
Please send your thoughts and prayers to the entire Allsup family as they deal with this loss!