Today is the 53rd anniversary of “The Day the Music Died.” On this day in 1959 we lost three Rock N Roll pioneers, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and J. P. “Big Bopper” Richardson in a small plane accident near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Rest in Peace to three amazing musicians.
Ritchie Valens (Richard Steven Valenzuela; May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959) lived to be only 17 years old and died right before the peak of his musical success. He is considered to be one of the Chicano Rock movements forefathers. His most notable hit was “La Bamba.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Buddy Holly (Charles Hardin Holley; September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959) was an extremely influential singer-songwriter as well as an Pop/ Rock n Roll icon known for his quirky glasses. He influenced such artists as The Beatles, Elvis Costello, and The Rolling Stones. He was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.; October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959) was known for having a big voice and an over the top personality. He was a DJ and a singer-songwriter. His biggest hit was “Chantilly Lace.”
This day, February 3, 1959 inspired the song “American Pie” by Don McLean where it was called “The Day the Music died” which it would be known as from that point on.
The accident has been called the greatest tragedy to happen to Rock N Roll.