American Musician and Producer. Allsup, who was a Western swing musician for much of his career, was also the lead guitarist in Buddy Holly and the Crickets. He began his musical career as a member of the Oklahoma Swingbillies in 1949. Over the next few years he played in a variety of bands, including his own band, the Southernaires, from 1953 to 1958. In April 1958, he met Holly during a trip to New Mexico and began a stint as Holly’s lead guitarist. On February 3, 1959, Allsup lost a coin flip with Ritchie Valens over who would get a seat on the plane that eventually crashed in Clear Lake, Iowa, which killed Valens, Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. After Holly’s death, Allsup moved to California, where he became A&R director for Liberty Records. Over the course of a career that spanned several decades, he performed and recorded with such acts as Roy Orbison and Merle Haggard. His career as a producer included work with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Willie Nelson and others, as well as with such pop artists as Bobby Vee, Julie London and Vikki Carr. He later moved to Nashville and in 1972, he produced Asleep at the Wheel's first album for and went on to produce four more albums for the group. He also produced five albums for Hank Thompson and his Brazos Valley Boys, as well as two with Western swing singing legend Leon Rausch. Allsup, who was inducted in to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, died following complications from a hernia operation.
Bio by: Louis du Mort