The Day the Music Died

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  02.03.09 | 9:13 AM ET

It’s been 50 years today since the plane carrying Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly went down over Iowa, killing all three musicians along with their pilot. Sadly, the music world has seen no shortage of fatal crashes, but as Chart Watch’s Paul Grein points out, the 1959 tragedy—immortalized in Don McLean’s American Pie—remains “the most famous plane crash in rock ‘n’ roll history.” Grein also notes that Holly, who was just 22 when he died, has the sad distinction of being the shortest-lived artist ever to garner a Grammy for lifetime achievement.

Check out a vintage clip of Buddy Holly, in a 1958 episode of “American Bandstand,” after the jump:

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

3 Comments for The Day the Music Died

Chance 02.03.09 | 11:22 AM ET

Thanks for remembering Buddy. I don’t think that vid is from American Bandstand, by the way. There’s another clip of that same performance on YouTube that identifies it as “Arthur Murray’s Dance Party” from December 29, 1957. Sounds plausible, if it were Bandstand, you’d expect Dick Clark to be introducing them. Great stuff.

Eva Holland 02.03.09 | 12:49 PM ET

Ah, thanks for clearing that up! I love that intro speech - “rock’n'roll specialists” is gold.

TambourineMan 02.04.09 | 4:05 AM ET

Love Buddy and Richie. Who doesn’t? But no love for the Chantilly Lace? Here’s some:

Don’t know about everyone else, but all day I answered the phone with this greeting:
“Helllooooo, Baay-by! This is the Big Bopper speakin. Oh, you sweet thang!”

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