IT may be the middle of summer but the heat won't stop Buddy Holly's Winter Dance Party Tour from heading to the coast.

The legendary rock 'n' roller was just 22 when he died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959.

Ten days earlier he had embarked on a string of dates – dubbed the Winter Dance Party Tour – across the American mid-west with Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and Dion and the Belmonts.

The Big Bopper, Holly and Valens were all killed on the way to a show when their plane smashed into a cornfield in Iowa.

Almost 60 years on, this tribute celebrates the music of those final concerts and recreates the Surf Ballroom show on the fateful day the music died.

The show includes early Holly songs such as Blue Days Black Nights and Rock Around with Ollie Vee, True Love Ways and It Doesn't Matter Anymore.

Big Bopper's hits include Chantilly Lace, Running Bear and White Lightning, and from Valens there are classics such as La Bamba, Come On Let's Go and Donna.

The Wanderer, Runaround Sue, I Wonder Why and Teenager In Love remain massive Dion and the Belmonts tracks to this day.

All the music is performed live by Marc Robinson and the Counterfeit Crickets in authentic Fifties outfits.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

  • Marc Robinson pays homage to Buddy Holly tomorrow night.

Marc was in the original ‘Stars in their Eyes’ and has starred in Buddy - The Musical.

Fans will see how Holly actually recorded songs such as Not Fade Away, where the drums are replaced by a cardboard box.

There is also a nod to the influence of The King, with a short melody of Elvis tracks which Holly himself recorded.

It's a slot where the Counterfeit Crickets double-bass player never fails to win a standing ovation from the awe-struck audience.

The show is a fitting tribute to Holly who would have celebrated his 80th birthday this year. The music lives on at Clacton's West Cliff Theatre tonight (July 23) at 7.30pm. Tickets are £17 from the box office on 01255 433344.