On Feb. 3,1959, Rock and Roll pioneers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed, along with pilot Roger Peterson, in the crash of a small private airplane near Clear Lake, Iowa as they were headed to the next stop in their singing tour. Richardson was the oldest of the four at 28. Buddy Holly was 22, Richie Valens was 17, and Peterson was 21.
I guess it is a sign of getting old when remembering events so vividly of 50 years ago. But those guys were very popular at the time and it was a tragic event.
Following their deaths, Don McLean wrote a ballad about the loss, American Pie, The Day the Music Died. But MSNBC contributor Michael Ventre said it well in his article yesterday, Sorry, Don McLean, but the music didn’t die. He’s right. The music lives on.
Buddy Holly’s song writing and singing had a big impact on Rock and Roll. Some of the songs of Buddy Holly and the Crickets were co-written by Buddy Holly and his drummer, Jerry Allison although Allison was not always given credit where due. Songs like, That’ll Be the Day, Peggy Sue, Not Fade Away, still sound great today. It’s the Rock-a-Billy sound that is memorable. We can be assured, Buddy Holly has not faded away, nor has the DJ singer, The Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace, or young Ritchie Valens' songs.
Lucky for us, music has a way of staying with us.
For those who want to reminisce you might like reading the interview with Cricket drummer, Jerry Allison.