“The Day the Music Died” …

… this week marks the anniversaries of two significant events in the history of rock ‘n roll … the first of these was this past Monday, February 3rd … the 55th Anniversary of “The Day the Music Died” …

… on that date in 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in the crash of a small plane near Clear Lake, Iowa.

The Day the Music Died Mason City Globe-Gazette 590203

Buddy Holly was … and to this day remains … my favorite rock ‘n roll artist. The song which made famous the line “The Day the Music Died” … “American Pie” by Don McLean … is my single all time favorite song.

I was fortunate to have grown up on Long Island … and to have attended a 1958 Alan Freed rock ‘n roll show at the Paramount Theater in New York City …  Buddy Holly & the Crickets appeared in that show, along with many other 1950’s rock ‘n rollers … I was also a newspaper carrier boy … delivering the Long Island Daily Press for any other old-timers who still remember that now defunct paper … and learned of the crash when I picked up my papers to deliver the next day.

Most music fans probably know of the two movies that have been made about the lives of Buddy Holly … “The Buddy Holly Story”, starring Gary Busey, Don Stroud & Charles Martin Smith … and Ritchie Valens … “La Bamba”, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales … I keep hoping that someone will make a movie about the third rock star victim of the crash … “The Big Bopper” … so as to make a complete set.

There is also an excellent documentary movie called “The Real Buddy Holly Story” … hosted by Paul McCartney … who says that Buddy Holly was a seminal influence on The Beatles and their music … And, I also have two books on Buddy … the very readable “Rave On” by Philip Norman … and the almost scholarly “Buddy Holly, A Biography”, by Ellis Amburn.


For internet articles on the three artists, see:

Buddy Holly autographed photo

Buddy Holly & the Crickets website:



Ritchie Valens album cropped

The official Ritchie Valens website:



Big Bopper The singing

The Big Bopper on Legacy.com:




Rolling Stone

article on Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big Bopper:



One thought on ““The Day the Music Died” …

  1. Pingback: Ode to a Tragedy | Stories in 5 Minutes

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