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Mon Feb 3, 2014, 07:24 AM

55 Years Ago Today: The Day the Music Died

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Music_Died

The Day the Music Died, so dubbed by a lyric in the Don McLean song "American Pie," is a reference to the deaths of rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 3, 1959. Pilot Roger Peterson was also killed.

After terminating his partnership with The Crickets, Buddy Holly assembled a new band consisting of Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup, and Carl Bunch, to play on the '"Winter Dance Party" tour. The tour also featured rising artists Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, who were promoting their own recordings as well. The tour was to cover 24 Midwestern cities in three weeks.

The distance between venues and the conditions prevalent aboard the poorly equipped tour buses adversely affected the performers. Cases of flu spread among the band members, and Carl Bunch was hospitalized due to frostbite. Frustrated by the conditions, Holly decided to charter a plane when they stopped for their performance in the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, to reach their next venue in Moorhead, Minnesota. Carroll Anderson, owner of the Surf Ballroom, chartered the plane from the Dwyer Flying Service. Richardson, who was affected by the flu, swapped places with Waylon Jennings, taking the latter's place on the plane, while Tommy Allsup lost his place to Ritchie Valens on a coin toss. Dion DiMucci (of Dion and the Belmonts fame) decided not to board the plane for the $36 fee.

The investigation of the incident determined that soon after take off, a combination of poor weather conditions and pilot error caused spatial disorientation that made pilot Roger Peterson lose control of the plane. Hubert Dwyer, owner of the flight service company, could not establish radio contact and reported the aircraft missing the next morning. He took off in his own Cessna 180 and spotted the wreckage less than six miles (9.7 km) northwest of the originating airport in a cornfield. He notified the authorities who dispatched Deputy Bill McGill, who drove to the wreck site and found the bodies of the passengers and pilot. They were later identified by Carroll Anderson.
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Reply 55 Years Ago Today: The Day the Music Died (Original post)
Cooley Hurd Feb 2014 OP
CBGLuthier Feb 2014 #1
liberal N proud Feb 2014 #2
cbdo2007 Feb 2014 #8
liberal N proud Feb 2014 #9
DiverDave Feb 2014 #3
mountain grammy Feb 2014 #4
azurnoir Feb 2014 #5
Dustlawyer Feb 2014 #6
Nitram Feb 2014 #7
JohnnyRingo Feb 2014 #10
Jetboy Feb 2014 #11
Duval Feb 2014 #12
Cooley Hurd Feb 2014 #13

Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 07:39 AM

1. Bye Bye, Miss American Pie, Buddy's manager sucked so he had to fly

Too bad J.P. and Richie hitched a ride

That was why the music died.



Buddy Holly's thieving SOB of a manager is why a superstar was forced to do a shitty little tour. If the asshole had not still been alive when they made the movie about him they might have mentioned this fact.

They were all killed by a greedy SOB, Norman Petty.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 07:39 AM

2. I grew up 60 miles from Clear Lake

The Clear Lake Ballroom was the last place they played.

I remember working in a grocery store in High School and they would bring in poster to hang in the windows and give free tickets to the store owner.


This was all long after Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper died of course, early-mid 70's It was always interesting because of it being the last place these legends played. At the time you didn't realize that the big names played small places, unlike the stars of the late 70's to today.







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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 09:42 AM

8. 5 miles north of Clear Lake there is a monument

in a field where the plane crash happened. It's a peaceful place to reflect on the musicians.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 09:48 AM

9. I don't get back that way very much any more

Both mom and dad are gone now, not much reason to drive through northern Iowa. I know where you are talking about.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 08:09 AM

3. met a lady from there

she was working at Georgia Tech, dated a few times, told me to look up her folks if I ever got close...sweet person, truck driving wasn't conducive to ltr

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 08:11 AM

4. Thanks for the clips. A lot of talent went down on that plane.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 08:16 AM

5. Thanks

last year I mentioned this day to my MIL-who told that she remembered it very well because she and her sister had gone to Fargo to be see the Winter Dance Party tour, or as she told me we were standing there with our tickets waiting to get in and they made the announcement about the plane crash

I'd never known that about her

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 08:53 AM

6. Chantilly Lace was written on the drive from Beaumont, Texas to Houston when J.P.

and a man named Bill Hall were on their way to record Purple People Eater at a better studio than what Bill Hall had in Beaumont. They realized in route that they did not have a "B" side to the record.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 09:01 AM

7. The music never died, it took off!

The 60s was an amazing renaissance of musical styles and great original music written and played by the people for the people. The Beatles, the Stones, Bob Dylan, the Birds, Jefferson Airplane, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Cream, the Dead, Simon & Garfunkel, the Temptations, the Supremes, the Animals, the Kinks, Jethro Tull, Neil Young, Sly & the Family Stone, Joni Mitchell, Credence Clearwater, Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Otis Redding, and too many others to list. American Pie is a great song, but I don't buy McLean's contempt for the music that followed.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:14 AM

10. K&R

I learned a lot about the crash (and the victims) I didn't know from that Wikki. I was only six when the accident happened, so it wasn't a big event to me at the time.

I always liked the V tail Bonanza, but it went on to unfairly be known as a pilot killer, in part because it was a sleek high performance plane with potential for operation by inexperienced pilots. I didn't know the pilot that fateful day was only 21 years old without an instrument rating. Blame could probably be assessed to the flying company that assigned that pilot for a night time charter flight in poor weather. The pilot probably flew it for free just to add the hours to his log. Just like doctors, everybody likes to assume their pilot knows what he/she is doing, but in this case the pilot had recently failed his insturment check ride.

Thanx for posting.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:20 AM

11. I just got back from attending the Surf Ballroom's annual Winter Dance Party

celebrating the three stars as I do every year.

Highly recommended to check it out.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:22 AM

12. I remember the day.

Thanks for posting, Cooley. I was a Sophomore in college, and we girls cried. It was a very sad day.

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2014, 12:07 PM

13. Here's a fascinating set of interviews with those involved that night:

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