The Day the Music Died?

By | Feb 3, 2017

It really wasn’t the day that the music died, although it may have been the end of an era. On that day three of Rock and Roll’s young stars (Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, the Big Bopper) were involved in an early morning plane crash. The day was February 3, 1959 and happened in Clear Lake, Iowa. All on the plane were killed.

Holly, Valens, Richardson (the Big Bopper) along with Dion and the Belmonts were on a road tour called Winter Dance Party. The groups were touring in unheated buses in freezing temperatures when Buddy Holly decided to charter a small plane to their next stop. The small plane could hold four people including the pilot, the cost was $36 person. He chartered it for himself and his two band mates, Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup.

During the tour J.P. Richardson, the Big Bopper, had developed the flu and asked Jennings if he could go instead of him. Jennings agreed.

Jennings was until his death haunted over the crash in part over an exchange of words between him and Buddy Holly. Holly had said to Jennings, “”Well, I hope your ol’ bus freezes up.” Jennings responded, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes.”

Ritchie Valens had never flown in a small plane and asked Tommy Allsup if he could have his seat. With a coin flip, tossed by the DJ at ballroom where they played that night, Valens had the last seat.

Dion DiMucci of Dion and the Belmonts was approached, but declined. He couldn’t see paying the price of 36 dollars, a sum which he had seen his parent argue over this price for apartment rent.


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