Escalading With History: Preservation's Thrilling Ride


As one of the oldest automobile brands in the world (est. 1902), Cadillac has longevity when it comes to its association with celebrity clientele, from Hollywood stars to diplomats, professional athletes and musicians. Their height of cool was in the 1950s and 1960s when they were the pinnacle of status and fashion statements. When you bought a Caddy, you were "in the club." The 1955 pink Cadillac Fleetwood owned by Elvis evokes unforgettable cultural symbolism. In more recent years, the Cadillac Escalade has become an "SUV to the stars." I've had a recent unexpected and amusing encounter with this ride in my pursuit of music history's fallen icons.

It was February 2016 and my twin sister Sheryl and I were in Clear Lake, Iowa for the Surf Ballroom's annual Winter Dance Party. Since 1979, rock and roll fans from around the world have made the pilgrimage to celebrate the lives and legacies of rock and roll pioneers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson ("