John Black

 Photographer

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The SURF BALLROOM
These are images of people in and
about the historic Surf Ballroom in
Clear Lake, IA.
The Surf has been host to hundreds of great entertainers from the 30s to the present. The surf's main claim to fame is the last concert with Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper was performed on the Surf stage on February 3rd, 1959 followed by the plane crash that tragically killed the three headliners. It was "...the day the music died". The Surf was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall OF Fame in February of 2009 in rememberance of that Winter Dance Party.
​The Surf is now a part of the national registry of historic buildings and serves as a museum visited by many every year. It is also one of the last functioning ballrooms that thrived in the golden era of the 30s, 40s, and 50s.
"BLACK SLACKS"
acryloc on canvas -  102" x 67"
click for larger image
"SURF CITY HERE WE COME"
acrylic on canvas  - 80" x 132"
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"ARE YOU READY FOR A BRAND NEW BEAT"
acrylic on canvas -  78" x 49"
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"HONKY TONK WOMEN"
acrylic on canvas -  55" x 94"
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"THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND"
acrylic on canvas -  66" x 104"
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"MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME"
acrylic on canvas -  68" x 98"
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"THE WORDS SHE KNOWS THE TUNE SHE HUMS"
acrylic on canvas -  58" x 86"
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"DID YOU HEAR 'BOUT LOUIE MILLER"
acrylic on canvas -  55" x 86"
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"PUT ON YOUR RED DRESS, BABY"
acrylic on canvas -  84" x 50"
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"I DIG ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC"
acrylic on canvas -  80" x 46"
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