Fifty-Two Years After ‘The Day The Music Died’

Getty Images/Ronald Martinez

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Buddy Holly[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ritchie Valens[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Big Bopper[/lastfm] and the 21-yea-old pilot Roger Peterson,  passed away 52-years-ago on February 3, 1959.

As the story goes (and according to Wikipedia) Buddy Holly was anxious to get to Fargo, N.D. in time to do some laundry before the next show on the “The Winter Dance Party” tour so a plane was chartered. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Waylon Jennings[/lastfm] was suppose to be on the plane but gave up his seat to the Big Bopper who had the flu. Dion DiMucci of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dion and the Belmonts[/lastfm] opted out of the plane charter and took the bus because he could not justify the $36 cost. In a moment of fate, Tommy Allsup, of Holly’s band, lost a coin toss with Richie Valens for the remaining seat.

The plane took off at 12:55 a.m and just after 1:00 a.m.  it was observed to gradually descend until out of sight.  The following morning the wreckage was found in a farmer’s field. The plane had struck the ground at 70 miles per hour. All four men died instantly in the crash.

At the time of the crash the pilot was not  yet rated for flight that would have required operation of the aircraft solely by reference to his instruments.  The dark, the weather and Peterson’s lack of experience may have caused the crash.

The infamous day was 52-years-ago but still lingers large on the minds of fans and music lovers.  To think of all the unwritten music that would never come to be is haunting. Certainly had Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson lived their music would have had a different impact on the music industry.

More on the web:
The Coroner’s Report on the Crash

Buddy Holly’s Death Certificate

The Official Civil Aeronautics Board Report

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