The Day the Music Became a Church of Christ Preacher

Posted: February 17, 2009 in Laughter

My good friend, Bruno, sent me the following hilarious interaction from Garrison Keillor’s website (‘specially hilarious to us CofC folks). Even funnier has been the comment board – several people thought he was serious and were actually angry about it! Anyway… enjoy!

Post to the Host:
Hello. In your recent show, GK said that Buddy Holly was alive and living in New York. All bio’s say that he is no longer with us and passed away in the plane crash. Please inform me of the correct truth.
Thank you,

I am sticking to my story, Thad, no matter what the biographers say. They have been wrong before. I ran into Buddy Holly in New York in December and didn’t recognize him at first because he doesn’t have those big black hornrims anymore — he had Lasik surgery and doesn’t need glasses — and he’s put on some weight since 1959. He’s 72 and in good shape for the shape he’s in and retired from his pastorate two years ago. After the plane crash, he went back to the Church of Christ and went to Abilene Christian and got his degree and he’s been pastor of Manhattan Church of Christ, a little church on W. 12th Street. Church of Christ is a pretty tiny minority in New York City, so he goes unnoticed — anybody who was a Buddy Holly fan is still in mourning for him, and members of the Church of Christ tended not to be rocknrollers, so he’s as anonymous as can be, and he goes by the name of the Rev. Charles Holley which is spelled with an E, and so his secret is safe. He was sorry about the guy who died in the crash.

A guitarist named Elwyn Baker who was a dead-ringer for Buddy and when Buddy got the offer to go on tour in the Midwest in the dead of winter, he said “No way” and called up Elwyn and they agreed on a 50-50 split, and that’s the truth. Elwyn was also Church of Christ and he was going to be a minister and he wanted a last fling as a rocknroll star and that’s how he died. Doing what he wanted to do. And Buddy was shocked to read his own obituary in the papers, of course, and he was going to tell people that he was still alive but he was embarrassed about the dishonesty of sending a stand-in and then he was sort of amazed at what a commotion his death caused and teenagers weeping and making pilgrimages to the crash site and so on, and then as he thought about it, his death to him seemed like a sign from heaven that he should give his life to the Lord, which he’s done. And he doesn’t sing these songs anymore.

  1. texfan says:

    How funny that people would get upset over this, I mean with all the Elvis sightings and the ponderings of is Bruce Lee really dead or living in seclusion somewhere. We have heard the story of the famed Orson Wells radio broadcast that sent people into a panic, shouldn’t that remind us to not take things so literally and just have some fun every once in a while? My thoughts on the matter is did people really go in search of the Manhattan Church of Christ to find Charles Holley and what are the attendance counts since this story. Thanks for sharing something that made me laugh today, I really needed it. You and your family take care and know we really miss ya’ll. God bless ya’ll.

  2. alsturgeon says:

    Great to hear from you, Marion! We miss you all, too…

    My favorite comment was in reply to one of the angry people. It said, “If someone tells you the word ‘gullible’ is on the ceiling, don’t look.” (Note to self: try that on someone.)

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