Moorhead broadcaster who promoted Buddy Holly show dies at 82


Rod Lucier, a radio announcer who was heard in the Red River Valley for decades, has died at age 82.

Lucier spent 30 years with KVOX, serving as their program director and announcing high school and college sports events, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

Beyond the Red River Valley, Lucier was best known as the concert promoter of the Winter Dance Party at the Moorhead Armory on Feb. 3, 1959.

That's the show that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson (the Big Bopper) were headed to when their plane crashed in a storm on "the day the music died."

The report on his death in Holly's hometown newspaper, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal mentioned that Lucier had tried to cancel the Moorhead show because of the approaching storm but the plane carrying the singers had already left Clear Lake, Iowa.

When word of the tragic plane crash reached Lucier, he scrambled to find local acts who could fill in for the stars he'd booked.

As the Forum notes, they included a Fargo group called the Shadows, which launched the career of Bobby Vee.

Another of those groups was a band Lucier managed called Terry Lee and the Poor Boys. Terry Lee was the stage name of Bob Becker, who reminisced about the fateful night on Facebook a couple of years ago.

"I feel that most of the folks in the audience were kinda in a daze," Becker wrote. But the crowd filled the Armory to overflowing, he says, prompting the Fire Marshal to turn away late-arriving rock 'n roll fans.

Next Up