The Day The Music Died: 60 Years Since That Fateful Plane Crash, Buddy Holly’s Rock’n’roll Legacy Lives On

Sixty years ago today, on 3 February 1959, Buddy Holly’s bass player Waylon Jennings uttered seven words that would haunt him for the rest of his life. His band, led by rock’n’roll wunderkind Holly, had just played a rollicking show in Iowa as part of their Winter Dance Party tour. “Even though it was a Monday night,” Jennings later recalled, “it seemed like half the town’s teenagers had turned out.”

But Holly was fed up. Tired of the freezing cold, constantly malfunctioning tour bus, and desperate to avoid the 400-mile road trip to their next stop, he booked a private plane to Minnesota instead. Jennings was supposed to join him, but at the last minute gave his seat to “The Big Bopper”, who was on the same tour and suffering from a bad case of the flu. When Holly found out, he was teasingly aggrieved. “I hope your damned bus freezes up again,” he joked to his friend. “Well,” shot back Jennings, “I hope your ol’ plane crashes.”

That “ol’ plane” did crash, just a few minutes after it took off. On board were three renowned musicians – 22-year-old Buddy Holly, 17-year-old Ritchie Valens (who won his seat on a coin toss with Tommy Allsup), and 28-year-old J P “The Big Bopper” Richardson Jr – as well as the pilot, 21-year-old Roger Peterson. Holly and Valens were thrown from the plane’s torn fuselage. Richardson was flung into a neighbouring cornfield. Peterson became entangled in the wreckage. None of them survived.

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By: copperdog3 (6330.54)

Tags: buddy, holly, big bopper, waylon, jennings, Ritchie, Valens, American Pie

Location: United States