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  • Writer's pictureDominic Konareski

The Day Music Died: February 3rd, 1959

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

February 3rd, 1959 the music world changed forever as a small plane (A Beachcraft Bonanza) carrying three upcoming young musicians crashed shortly after takeoff.

Those musicians being Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, known as the “Big Bopper” also killed in the crash was the pilot.

This was all due to the Winter Dance Party Tour as Buddy Holly and all the young, up and coming stars were involved in what was truly a horrific tour schedule that led them everywhere you can imagine. For transport old buses were used with no heat, due to that many got sick and frostbite. At one point the buses engine even froze.

All together the tour consisted of Buddy Holly and his band (Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup, Carl Busch) along with Ritchie Valens, Dion & The Belmonts and J.P. Richardson.

After stopping at Clear Lake to preform Buddy Holly was frustrated by the conditions and chartered a plane, that would then later be a truly fatal mistake.

The next venue was in Minnesota and with an oncoming blizzard with no heating on/in the bus you cannot blane them for renting a plane.

Waylon Jennings was supposed to be on what was soon to be a crashed flight, but Richardson ended up coming down with the flu, with that Jennings gave up his seat. When Holly found out he said to Jennings “I hope your ol’ bus freezes up” Jennings responed “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes” little would he know a simple joke would soon turn true.

The plane took off and crashed not even a full 6 miles from the runway as the wreak was found the next morning. It is estimated that the plane impacted the ground around 170mph banked steeply nose down to the right. The bodies of Holly and Valens (Valens who was famous for his fear of airplanes) were ejected from the crash with Richardson‘s body found in a cornfield. They all died instantly.

Memorials were put up and films were made, those films called The Buddy Holly Story and La Bamba. A song was also made that was about the crash, that song was written by Don McLean in 1971 called American Pie.

Rip to all those who lost their life and suffered due to this tragedy.

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