Today is the 60th deathiversary of The Day the Music Died.
On February 3, 1959, American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. The event later became known as “The Day the Music Died”, after singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his 1971 song “American Pie”.
All three were travelling to Fargo, North Dakota, for the next show on their Winter Dance Party Tour which Holly had set—covering 24 cities in three weeks, to make money after the break-up of his band, The Crickets, a year before. Holly decided to hire the plane after heating problems developed on his tour bus.
Fans of Holly, Valens, and Richardson have been gathering for annual memorial concerts at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake since 1979. The 50th-anniversary concert took place on February 2, 2009, with Delbert McClinton, Joe Ely, Wanda Jackson, Los Lobos, Chris Montez, Bobby Vee, Graham Nash, Peter and Gordon, Tommy Allsup, etc. Jay P. Richardson, the son of the Big Bopper, was among the participating artists, and Bob Hale was the master of ceremonies, as he was at the 1959 concert.
Don McLean addressed the accident and dubbing it “the Day the Music Died”, which for McLean symbolised the “loss of innocence” of the early rock-and-roll generation
As we all know, today the music, Rock ‘n’ Roll in particular, is still alive and kicking. Just like Neil Young sings it on “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)”: Rock ‘n’ roll will never die. Rock ‘n’ roll is here to stay.
Keep on rockin’ in the free world!
Note: you can also read on my blog about the same topic—in Bahasa Indonesia: The Day the Music Died