By Liliana Catillo: Freedom New Mexico
The annual Clovis and Curry County Chamber of Commerce banquet was intended to celebrate the Clovis sound.
And the sold-out event did just that with officials from every part of Clovis talking about the sounds of the city, county, schools and Norman Petty Recording Studios paired with a Buddy Holly impersonator.
Johnny Rodgers sang Buddy Holly songs every chance organizers would let him, from serenading award winners to closing out the evening with “Brown Eyed Girl” for outgoing chamber president Kathy Wright.
The chamber recognized businesses and community members for their service to Clovis.
Among those was Kenneth Broad as Citizen of the Year. Broad, the curator of the Norman Petty Recording Studios, said the award humbled and surprised him.
“I’m really accepting this on behalf of Vi Petty,” Broad said as he was handed the working Fender Stratocaster that served as the award. “The trustees of Norman’s estate asked me to be Vi’s business manager. I said I would for one year and now it’s been so long I can barely remember.”
Broad said he’s done everything on behalf of the Pettys.
“It was Vi’s dream to continue the Norman Petty sound as he made it here in Clovis,” he said. “It’s been a delight to be a part of the music story.”
Wright said Broad always has something to give.
“He always responds to the community and its people,” she said. “He may actually be the citizen of the decade, and quarter century, serving quietly but fervently to better our communities, serving as a Pastor, a model family man, a community leader, and a wonderful friend.”
Ernie Kos, executive director of the chamber, said the event was a success.
“It was an awesome celebration of the Clovis sound, not just rock ‘n’ roll but all the other sounds in the community,” Kos said. “I think we picked the most outstanding award recipients this year.”
She said the event is unique in that it brings various organizations in the city together to celebrate.
Attendees were given a chance to donate money for United Way to be sent to help quake survivors in Haiti on their way out. The event raised $1,243 for Haiti relief.