Tommy Allsup

2017 - Matousek Family Lifetime Achievement Award

November 1932 - January 2017

Tommy was a native Oklahoman who was born into a musical setting. His love of music led him into the professional world of music and friendships with Buddy Holly, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, and Kenny Rogers, to name a few. As one of the world’s greatest guitarists, Tommy participated as an instrumentalist and leader or producer in more than 6500 recording sessions. Tommy also has many awards of achievement, such as Grammy, Gold albums, inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.


Tommy was known for being the man that lost the Coin flip to Ritchie Valens on that fateful night. There was not a day that passed that Tommy didn’t think of Buddy, Ritchie and The Big Bopper. Tommy sent out to be a real musician! He played it all. Western Swing, Country, Gospel, Rockabilly or Rock and Roll. Tommy played them all very well. The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa started the Wdp back in 1979. Tommy began coming to it performing and mingling with the people who were crazy enough to come out in the cold and seemed to enjoy his time there. He was especially proud of singing with the school kids with Buddy’s Buddies. Tommy was known for singing three unique songs: "Big Bossman," "Boney Maroney," and "Gotta Travel On."


Tommy Allsup was a talented musician, playing in New York with Paul McCartney one night and the next night in Oklahoma with the Texas Playboys.

Honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists.

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