Flashback: Memories of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper". (2023)

64 years ago today (February 3, 1959) thatBuddy Holly,Ritchie Valens,jJP "The Big Bopper" Richardsondied in a plane crash after performing in Clear Lake, IowaDion and los BelmontAs part of theWinter Dance Party Tour, which would cover 24 cities in a short three-week period from January 23 to February 15. Holly, who split from longtime support group TheThe grillThe year before, he was assisted by a then unknownwaylon jenningsim Bass,heap Karlon drums andtommy allupon solo guitar.

Dion DiMucciHe says that while the shows were always exciting, his favorite moments of the tour were improvising on the near-freezing bus on the way to the next town:[“Well, we used to play in the back of the bus: Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and me. The Big Bopper wouldn't join, he would sit in front with his beer. Bus. You mention cassettes, I wish there was a cassette."] SOUNDCUE(:14 OC: . . . tape is running)

During the entire tour, the musicians' bus was broken or often had no heating. At one point it was cold enough for the tour drummer to freeze, prompting the Belmonts to do soAngelo D´Aleo- as well as Valens - do double duty by filling the reels. When the tour finally arrived at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 2, 1959, Holly had made plans to fly to the nearest town right after the show, instead of taking the 430-mile unheated bus ride to Moorhead, Minn , to dare . . He hoped to reach his next stop in time to rest and do some laundry.

Dion says her time with Holly left a deep and lasting impression on her, and she remembers him as a man wise beyond his years:["I spent two weeks with him. And he was very mature for his age. I mean, I was 19, he was 22. He was verydecisiveYoung. I don't know if it was because of his upbringing, but I couldn't make decisions that quickly. I think. . . Well, he rented onelevel! At 22, 'O.K. listen', you know, I've recruited people, 'we're gonna fly and split it up.' But you think of a 22-year-old boy renting a plane, that was his kind of personality."] SOUNDCUE(:27 OC: . . . personality type)

Holly has chartered a plane to fly him and his gang to Fargo, North Dakota, near Moorhead. Jennings and Allsup gave up their places to Richardson and Valens. Dion was supposed to be on the plane in place of Valens, but she balked when she heard her share would be a whopping $36Exactlyyour parents' monthly rent in the Bronx. When Holly found out that Jennings wasn't going to fly, she said, "Well, I hope your old bus freezes over!" Jennings replied, "Well, I hope your plane crashes!" This friendly joke would haunt Jennings for years. Valens, who was ill, told Allsup, "I'll give you the remaining seat." Allsup lost his seat on a coin toss but won the rest of his life.

The red Beechcraft Bonanza took off around 1:50 a.m. on February 3, 1959 from Mason City, Iowa, ten miles east of Clear Lake. A cold wind immediately gave way to snow, drastically reducing visibility. The ground was already covered in white. The pilot may have been inexperienced with the instrumentation.

The plane never made it to Minnesota.

Minutes after takeoff, a wing hit the ground and the little plane spun over and over. The three young stars and the pilot.Roger Petersonhe died instantly on impact. There has been speculation over the years that a gun was accidentally fired on the plane, incapacitating or killing the pilot. The most logical explanation is that Peterson simply blew the plane into the ground in a sea of ​​white snow.

At the time of the accident, Buddy Holly was 22 years old. Ritchie Valens was 17 and Big Bopper was 28.

Buddy Holly was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, TexasCharles Hardin Holley. Although many of his biggest hits from the 1950s, such as "Peggy Sue", "Not Fade Away", "Every Day", "Maybe Baby", "Well...Alright" and "That'll Be The Day" have stood the test of time Buddy's final influence was not as a performer but as a songwriter. Buddy Holly helped spearhead an entirely new genre and served as the primary inspiration for the next generation of rock songwriters, most notably among themJohn Lennon&Pablo McCartney,Gerry Goffin&Carol Rey,Mick Jagger&Keith Richards,Paul Simon,Peter Townsend,Brian Wilson&Mike Amor,ray davies, jBob Dylan.

Paul McCartney has long credited Buddy Holly as his main songwriting influence and later purchased Holly's songwriting catalogue. It reminded him of the scene of February 3, 1959:["I remember being in the yard at my old school in the mornings and we used to have a little thing called 'Smoker's Corner' where those of us who were like 15, 16 or so, you know, think , we'd be real hoods, smoking a quick Woodbine before we go to class early in the morning, and someone had onedaily mirror– and there in the caption: “Buddy Holly died”. Oh God. The rug was pulled from under our feet. It was pretty shocking. It's one of those events where people can remember where they've been."] SOUNDCUE(:28 OC: . . . where they were)

Graham Nashremember how he and his partnerStechpalmeco-founderallan clarkeaddressed the news of Holly's sudden death:["I remember standing on the street corner crying our eyes out with my friend Allan Clarke, who later started the Hollies with me, my best friend at the time. I mean, not only did we lose Buddy, we lost the 'Big Bopper' and Ritchie Valens You know, I didn't really like his music, even though I knew it, but I wastotalinvolved in Buddy's music and we cried our heads off."] SOUNDCUE(:22 OC: . . . our eyes out)

We asked Nash what he thought of Holly when he first heard it in 1957:["Unbelievable. He was one of us, he was a rock star with glasses. It wasn't about sex, you know, like Elvis (Presley) was with his swinging hips. Buddy Holly touched people's hearts because his music was so easy and affordable for everyone. I mean, who doesn't know a song by Buddy Holly? I was watching the other dayRolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All TimeAnd he hasfourof them there! We call ourselves themStechpalmeOh dear God. And thedefinitiveit certainly influenced the Beatles."] SOUNDCUE(:30 OC: . . . influenced the Beatles)

Paul McCartney has arguably been the biggest supporter of Buddy Holly's music for decades:["It's good music, buddies. It's very impressive for those of us who were there. You know, it really sums up the time. And a lot of it still plays today, still sounds good."] SOUNDCUE(:08 OC: . . . still sounds good)

McCartney recalled that Buddy Holly not only wrote songs but also inspired him and John Lennon in other ways:[“The thing about Buddy was that while Elvis (Presley) was a beautiful, unattainable god, Buddy was the boy next door. And I remember that John was particularly pleased: now he could put his glasses on. Because John had big horn-rimmed glasses, which he always had to take off when we were playing or when there were girls around. John couldn't see anything bloody of course, he was really very nearsighted so he was very pleased when Buddy showed up because he (might) wear horn earrings and feel like a guy."] SOUNDCUE(:25 OC: . . . like a guy)

In February 1975, John Lennon released his cover album,Rock'n'Rollon WNEW in New York City, highlighting the re-recording of a near-perfect version of Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue":[“Actually, when I did it, I felt deja vu. It came back to me, I didn't even have to read the lyrics, which I did on most of them. And I sang that when I was 16. " , or something like that. And it's pretty much how Buddy made it, just not as good, but it's enough!"] SOUNDCUE(:11 OC: . . . but it works)

One of McCartney's first major publishing acquisitions for his MPL Communications company was the Buddy Holly catalogue. Though McCartney has been open about using his Beatles songs in commercials and films, he admits it's a slippery slope for him when it comes to Buddy's iconic tunes:【"It's really very difficult. With the Buddy Holly stuff, I have the right to let people use it because we're the publisher of it, we can do that. I don't like it, especially with the Beatles stuff. I don't know, maybe there are people out there who say you shouldn't do it with Buddy. I don't know, I've done it to him once or twice. , but I really don't like doing it, I have to admit. But your advisors say, 'Okay, so you're turning down all the money, right?' It's a very difficult decision, you know? If I were a purist, I would say, "No one should do it." I mean, my heart says so, but you're not always as pure as you think you are."] SOUNDCUE(:35 OC: . . . whatever you think)

At the Winter Dance Party stop on January 31, 1959 at the Duluth, Minnesota, National Guard Armory, 17-year-old Bob Dylan stood in front of the stage. At the 1998 Grammy Awards while accepting hisalbum of the yearGrammy portime out of mindPaying tribute to Holly, Dylan spoke about the only time he saw his hero perform:[“And I just wanted to say that once when I was 16 or 17, I saw Buddy Holly play and I was a meter away from him. And he looked at me. I don't know how or why, but I do know that he was with us in some capacity the entire time we were making this record."] SOUNDCUE(:19 OC: . . . path type)

Mick Jagger explained Buddy Holly's influence on all future British Invasion rockers:["Any Englishman you speak to, at least of my generation, will tell you that Buddy Holly was a big influence as...song composer. And he wrote all these songs in a very short time, and they're all very simple. And he was very big in England, I think he only toured once; I saw him on stage. But he was oneverygreat influence."] SOUNDCUE(:18 OC: . . . very big impact)

Keith Richards recalled that Buddy Holly was the prototype rock musician who could write, record and perform his own material:[“The beauty of the buddy thing for me is the self-sufficiency of everything. He didn't need anyone else, he didn't need songs, you know, but he just pulled it all together. He had a great band - God knows how he pulled it off, but he was the first to do it. I mean, until the Beatles came along and Bob Dylan came along, empowering it to write your own stuff, nobody was in that position -- Elvis (Presley) hardly ever wrote a song in his life, Jerry Lee Lewis wrote one, everyone else didn't, and he was inIt isRespect, Buddy was way ahead of his time."] SOUNDCUE(:29 OC . . . its time)

The three fallen stars, Holly, Valens and Richardson, grew much taller in death than during their short careers. Though talented in her own right, Valens, who only had doubles with "La Bamba" and "Donna," was not yet a big star at Holly's level. The "Big Bopper" he wrote and produced in 1959Johnny PrestonThe 1960 number one hit "Running Bear" was a novelty act whose main job was being a flamboyant disc jockey. While Valens' career could have reached even greater heights, it's more than likely that "The Bopper" would have remained a rock "personality" rather than a musical force throughout history. Dying with Holly made them both immortal.

Several films have been made about the tragedy over the years, including the Oscar-nominated but historically inaccurate 1978 film.Die Buddy-Holly-Story, jdie Bamba, the 1987 biopic chronicling the life of Valens.

According to various sources, including Jennings, after the tour, Holly planned to reunite with drummer Crickets.Deutsch"JI."Allisonand bassistJoe B. Mauldin—and further with Allsup on lead guitar. Holly also planned to start her own record label, Prism Records, and sign Jennings as her first artist. Shortly before his death in 2022, J.I. Allison recalled the deal he and Holly made before moving to New York City in 1958:["The last time I saw Buddy, he actually said, 'Okay, if you don't move to New York, work as 'The Crickets,' and I'll work as 'Buddy Holly,' and if it's 'if it.' doesn't work out for either of us, let's get back together, okay?" And we said, "Fine." And Waylon told me that on the last tour, Buddy spoke to him and he said, "I'm gonna be J.I. and Joe B .retrieve.'"] SOUNDCUE(:17 OC: . . . Joe B. in back)

Buddy Holly's widow,Maria Elena, who miscarried her son shortly after her death, recalls her time in New York City as an eye-opener, exploring Greenwich Village's folk scene and playing most mornings with musicians in Washington Square Park, practically in front of his apartment building in Brevoort was :["He really liked the excitement, and that's where the action was, as they say. New York was for musicians back then. Also, that's where I'm from. There's the Brevoort on Fifth Avenue, near Washington Square Park. And Buddy really liked that because he saw that he could start a new career there.”] SOUNDCUE(:39 OC: . . . a new career)

Remember that Buddy plays almost daily for free with local musicians in the park:[“Right by the fountain, you know, that's where the benches were in the mornings. We went to Washington Square Park and a lot of musicians gathered there. Bud sat down with a guitar and started playing, and then all of a sudden you see all these people who are attracted to him. They'd say, "Are you Buddy Holly? Is this the day?" And then... little by little we did it every day."] SOUNDCUE(:27 OC: . . . than every day)

IsBrothers ForeverTouring frequently with the other founding fathers of rock 'n' roll, both Don and Phil Everly became close and direct with Buddy Holly. The late Phil Everly, who carried the shroud at Holly's funeral in 1959, recalled the scene from early rock tours in a forthcoming documentaryinvent rock 'n' roll, produced by Everly Films:[“The first time I met Buddy Holly was … Don and I hooked up with onelargetour package, you know. . . I think it was the Fats Domino Tour.atit was in him, it was something. And what it was, everybody was in the locker room, like at a sporting event, you know, with a ... everybody had a catch (laughs), you know, for your wardrobe, and we were all sitting on benches and we were all in the same room and that's where we met him. I was 18 at the time, so it was like going to college. Everyone was contemporary and such. It was like a fraternity (laughs), was really, really something. We rode tour buses together and it was best of all. . . I always call it the golden age of rock."] SOUNDCUE(:41 CO: . . . die Rock-Era)

Over the years the legend of Buddy Holly has continued to grow, with his music paving the way for the British invasion and the burgeoning singer-songwriter movement of the late '60s and early '70s.Don McLeanThe number one hit "American Pie" began with the narrator learning the news of Holly's tragic death and coining the phrase "The Day the Music Died."

In recent years, it has come to light that Ritchie Valens had a direct influence on the Southern California rock scene of the 1960s. In the late '50s, Valens taught Hawthorne's guitarJohannes Maus. The now-deceased Maus, who later changed his name toJohn Walkerthrough formation ofwalking brothers— in turn gave the future guitar lessonsThe beach boy'Karl WilsonjTagged David.

Buddy Holly's music has also survived through various reissues over the years, with Paul McCartney acquiring the copyright to his music in 1976 and the annual "Buddy Holly Week" kicking off Holly's on Buddy Holly's birthday every September 7th.

The Crickets Directed by J.I. Allison andSonny Curtis— quit for good in 2016, a year after bassist Joe B. Mauldin died.

The late J.I. Allison told us that even now, her greatest wish is to fix the final recordings of Holly that she took in her New York apartment in the weeks leading up to her death. The 14 tunes include "Peggy Sue Got Married," "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," and others layered by additional musicians over the years:["I think it would be a lot of fun to do that, and I think these are some of the best songs Buddy has ever written. The tape machine he did this on was the same machine we did 'That'll Be The Day' and 'Peggy Sue' and all that stuff(In). The quality of 'The Apartment Tapes' was great!"]KLANG(:13 OC: . . . the tapes were great!)

recently appearedBuddy Holly mit dem Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: True Love Ways. The collection that comes from the hand of similar setsThe beach boy,Elvis Presley,Roy Orbison, jAretha Franklin, features a dozen classic Buddy Holly hits with his original voice and re-dubbed backing tracks. The album is available digitally now and is available to pre-order on CD and double LP vinyl.

The song list forBuddy Holly mit dem Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: True Love Wayses:„True Love Ways“, „Ya no importa“, „Todos los días“, „Heartbeat“, „Raining In My Heart“, „Oh Boy!“, „Rave On“, „Words Of Love“, „Eso“ ll Be The Day“, „Peggy Sue“, „Moondreams“ und „Maybe Baby“.

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