Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Day the Music Died: 50 Years Later

Crap, I can't believe I forgot the 50th anniversary of the deaths of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper Jay P. Richardson and Ritchie Valens. Fifty years ago, on February 3 1959, the three of them hired a small plane to fly them out of snowy Clear Lake, Iowa to the next city in their performance tour. They never made it. The 21 year old pilot was not instrument rated and was flying blind in a snowstorm. He probably never saw the ground rising to meet him as the plane spiraled downward.

Authorities soon found the plane, crumpled like a ball of tinfoil, up against a fence where it came to rest. The pilot was still inside, but Holly, Richardson and Valens were thrown out on impact and scattered around the snow covered field. All were killed on impact.

Buddy Holly was the first well-known artist to use the new Fender Stratocaster and was a rising star when he lost his young life at age 22. His group, "the Crickets" inspired four British lads to name their group after insects too, i.e. "the Beatles."

One of my favorite all time songs is Don McLean's "American Pie" that was popular in 1971. The song's refrain keeps referring to "the day the music died," which of course, was February 3, 1959.

Here's a video of Buddy Holly performing in 1959:

Here's Don McClean's American Pie, with lyrics:

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