BUDDY Holly’s 80th birthday would have fallen on September 7, another landmark as the all-conquering musical tribute to the late rock’n’roller from Lubbock, Texas, raves on.

In response to “phenomenal demand for tickets”, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story will play at least an additional 23 theatres in 2017, extending the Autumn 2016 tour to next June, with more shows still to be announced.

Among the confirmed 2017 additions will be one of the regular staging posts, the Grand Opera House in York, where Buddy will run from March 21 to 25. Tickets are on sale on 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story tells the story of Holly’s meteoric rise to fame and his final performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, before his tragic death at the age of 22 in a plane crash that also took the lives of J P Richardson, alias The Big Bopper, and teenage pin-up Ritchie Valens in the snow-blighted early hours of February 3 1959.

In 18 prolific months, the bespectacled singer, songwriter and guitarist had revolutionised the face of contemporary music, influencing such luminaries as The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen.

The touring cast will be led by Glen Joseph and Alex Fobbester, who will alternate the role of Buddy Holly in a show that presents two hours of Holly hits, such as That’ll Be The Day, Oh Boy and Rave On, complemented by The Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace and Ritchie Valens’s La Bamba.

Jukebox musicals aplenty have followed the Buddy blueprint, such as Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You, but writer and producer Alan Janes’s show has stood the test of time, being seen by more than 22 million people since it opened in London’s West End in 1989.

Buddy’s widow, Maria Elena Holly, says: “When we opened the show, we never imagined Buddy’s music and story would still be rocking stages and entertaining audiences around the world, week in, week out, over 25 years later.

“I believe this is testament to a great show – the first of its kind – and to the enduring appeal of Buddy Holly and what he represents; a youthful energy, huge talent and creativity, combined with a determination to make a lasting impression in this world.”

Alan Janes adds: “Audiences aged eight to 80 dance in the aisles every night to our enactment of the story of a young man whose musical career spanned an all-too-brief period but whose music will be remembered forever.”

Since the curtain first rose on Buddy, the show has clocked up 3,310 pairs of Buddy trousers, worn out by knee slides across the stage, and 98,000 truck miles for British tours, nearly four times the circumference of the Earth. It has also used up 211,709 guitar plectrums, enough to rise to 300ft taller than London’s BT Tower if stacked on top of each other, and 217,740 batteries, the weight of 65 actors.

Buddy’s most recent visit to the Grand Opera House came in February 2014, when Glen Joseph and Roger Rowley played Holly. Tickets for next spring’s York run can be booked on 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com/york.