JP Richardson Jr is on the Gold Coast to perform his father’s hits as part of the Cooly Rocks On nostalgia festival.
JP Richardson Jr is on the Gold Coast to perform his father’s hits as part of the Cooly Rocks On nostalgia festival. John Gass

Talent ‘in the genes'

JP RICHARDSON Jr was still in his mother's womb when his father, best known as the Big Bopper, was killed in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and Richie Valens.

In Australia for the first time, Mr Richardson Jr said this trip had special significance.

"My Dad was supposed to be here in March of 1959 and he was killed a month before, so I've always been intrigued about being able to come over here," he said.

The performer said he found a note with details about his father's planned expenses-paid trip to Australia.

"It was in his briefcase which survived the plane crash.

"It was in that briefcase, and that's basically what it said about Australia - obviously the $17.50 a week he was looking forward to, because that was a nice chunk of change."

JP Richardson Jr worked in the flooring trade before he started to perform his father's songs.

"It's in the genes. I've never taken a singing lesson, which some people may go, 'yeah, that's obvious', but I used to sing along to the records at my grandparents."

JP Richardson Jr said his new career had taken off and he no longer worked.

"When you are a musician, [people] ask 'where are you playing?', so we get to play a lot and it beats the hell out of work," he said.

Besides performing, Mr Richardson Jr has something else he hopes to do during his stay on the Gold Coast.

"I heard there were topless beaches ... I can't wait to take my shirt off," he said.

Big Bopper Jr will perform at Coolangatta and Tweed Heads Golf Club tonight and Sunday and at Twin Towns tomorrow, before heading to Brisbane to perform six shows.

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