Today Marks Sad Anniversary of the “Day the Music Died”
February 3, 2020, is not just the day after the Super Bowl, ladies and gentlemen. For many music fans, today will always be the "day the music died". Immortalized in Don McLean's "American Pie", February 3, 1959, was the day we lost three incredible musical talents in a plane crash in Mason City, Iowa.
Buddy Holly(who, with his band, the Crickets, just scored a #1 hit with, "That'll Be the Day") was just 22 years old. Buddy wrote all of his own songs(many released after his death) and was a huge influence on many songwriters, including Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who named their group after an insect to pay homage to the Crickets.
Ritchie Valens, another crash victim, was only 17 years old when he died but had already scored three hit singles, "La Bamba", "Donna", and "Come On, Let's Go".
The third crash victim was 28-year old J.P. Richardson. Nicknamed "The Big Bopper", Richardson started out as a disc jockey in Texas. Before long, he was writing his own songs. His most famous song, "Chantilly Lace", was a Top 10 hit.
And many people don't know this, but future country music superstar Waylon Jennings was a member of Holly's band. J.P. Richardson, who had the flu, convinced Jennings to give up his seat on the plane and take the tour bus so that Richardson could get to the next tour stop quicker.
It's hard to say what may have happened in the world of music if that plane crash didn't happen. The legacy of those three artists may have continued to grow. Or maybe not. We'll have to leave that up to our imaginations. At least, thanks to the music, they will never be forgotten.