Saturday, February 3, 2018

Remembering The Day The Music Died...!

For those of us that are old enough to remember such things, the tragic plane crash that killed three of rock music's favorite performers is hard to forget.

Here is the story of the unfortunate events of that day.

1959

The day the music died

On this day in 1959, rising American rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson are killed when their chartered Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashes in Iowa a few minutes after takeoff from Mason City on a flight headed for Moorehead, Minnesota. Investigators blamed the crash on bad weather and pilot error. Holly and his band, the Crickets, had just scored a No. 1 hit with “That’ll Be the Day.”

After mechanical difficulties with the tour bus, Holly had chartered a plane for his band to fly between stops on the Winter Dance Party Tour. However, Richardson, who had the flu, convinced Holly’s band member Waylon Jennings to give up his seat, and Ritchie Valens won a coin toss for another seat on the plane.

Holly, born Charles Holley in Lubbock, Texas, and just 22 when he died, began singing country music with high school friends before switching to rock and roll after opening for various performers, including Elvis Presley. By the mid-1950s, Holly and his band had a regular radio show and toured internationally, playing hits like “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy!,” “Maybe Baby” and “Early in the Morning.” Holly wrote all his own songs, many of which were released after his death and influenced such artists as Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney.

Another crash victim, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, 28, started out as a disk jockey in Texas and later began writing songs. Richardson’s most famous recording was the rockabilly “Chantilly Lace,” which made the Top 10. He developed a stage show based on his radio persona, “The Big Bopper.”

The third crash victim was Ritchie Valens, born Richard Valenzuela in a suburb of Los Angeles, who was only 17 when the plane went down but had already scored hits with “Come On, Let’s Go,” “Donna” and “La Bamba,” an upbeat number based on a traditional Mexican wedding song (though Valens barely spoke Spanish). In 1987, Valens’ life was portrayed in the movie La Bamba, and the title song, performed by Los Lobos, became a No. 1 hit. Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Singer Don McLean memorialized Holly, Valens and Richardson in the 1972 No. 1 hit “American Pie,” which refers to February 3, 1959 as “the day the music died.”

I really like the music from that time, especially Buddy Holly. Brings a flood of memories back when I hear one of his old tunes now.

Coffee in the kitchen today. Rain is expected a bit later.

7 comments:

Momlady said...

The music was memorable, unlike today. Send some warmth this way please.

HermitJim said...

Hey Momlady...
This is very true. After this post, I have some of those tunes running through my head.
Thanks for stopping by this morning!

JO said...

Oh those were the days, good music, you could understand what they were saying.

Dizzy-Dick said...

And on the last day of 1985, Ricky Nelson also died in a plane crash. He was 45 years old.

Wanda said...

I was just a tiny baby when this happened but I grew up on this music and love it still today. It was a sad loss to the music world, but because he gave up his seat we were blessed with Waylon Jennings for many years. To quote another song, "Today's music ain't got the same soul," though I do not consider rap crap music in any way, shape, or form.

I enjoyed your post.

Croft said...

I was 14, just about 15 on this day in 1959. The age when music started to develop meaning to a teenage boy. I knew the words to all these songs! It was a sad day, The Day That Music Died!

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
Yeah, you could understand well enough to sing along.
Thanks for dropping in today, dear!


Hey Dizzy...
Plane crashes seem to be a major cause of the loss of life for a lot of young stars back then. Now days it seems to be drugs.
Thanks for coming by today, Dizzy!


Hey Wanda...
I love the music of those days as well.
Thanks for stopping by today!


Hey Croft...
Back then a lot of the songs had meaning, at least for many of us. You and your girl could make a song "your song."
Thanks for stopping by today!