Sad news. Tommy Allsup, father of The Voice 11 singer Austin Allsup, has died at age 85. Austin’s team announced the news on the singer’s Facebook page. Austin’s father, an artist in his own right, had a remarkable story involving an incredible twist of fate.
Western swing guitarist and music producer Tommy Allsup was born on his Cherokee mother’s allotment near Owasso, Oklahoma, the twelfth of thirteen children. After meeting Buddy Holly in 1958, Tommy Allsup toured with Buddy Holly & The Crickets. It was the winter of 1959 when Buddy Holly, after a concert in Clear Lake, Iowa hired a pilot to take them to Fargo, North Dakota. Ritchie Valens had never flown before and flipped a coin with Tommy for a place on the plane. Holly and Valens were killed along with The Big Bopper on February 3, 1959, when for unknown reasons the plane crashed. Tommy led The Crickets, which included Waylon Jennings, and finished the tour.
Tommy Allsup appeared on The Voice during his son’s blind audition. In the video package, Austin mentioned that his father was STILL touring in his 80s. A few tears were shed after Austin ended up on Team Blake Shelton after a moving performance of The Rolling Stone song, “Wild Horses.” Austin left the competition in week 3 of the live finals.
Watch Austin’s video package and performance below. Austin’s team asks fans to keep the singer in their thoughts and prayers. RIP Tommy Allsup.
Here’s Tommy Allsup singing the Buddy Holly hit “It’s So Easy” at the Surf Ballroom in 2011.