This day in Histroy: 61 years ago Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” lost their lives

A poster showing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper"...
A poster showing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson hangs on a wall in the Surf Ballrom, Friday, Jan. 9, 2009, in Clear Lake, Iowa. It's been nearly 50 years since the single-engine plane crashed into a snow-covered Iowa field killing everyone on board and later this month thousands of people are expected to gather in the small northern Iowa town where the rock pioneers gave their last performance. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (KTUU)
Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 9:46 AM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Today we are taking a special look back in history to "The day the music died."

Immortalized in the song “American Pie” by Don McLean, on this day in 1959 rising American rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson lost their lives in a plane crash in Iowa.

, after mechanical difficulties with the tour bus, Holly had chartered a plane for his band to fly between stops on the Winter Dance Party Tour. However, Richardson, who had the flu, convinced Holly’s band member Waylon Jennings to give up his seat, and Ritchie Valens won a coin toss for another seat on the plane.

Buddy Holly is best known for songs such as “Peggy Sue”, “Everyday”, and “That’ll Be The Day.”

Ritchie Valens is known for “La Bamba,” “We Belong Together,” “Donna,” and “Ooh My Head.

Valens’ life was also highlighted in the 1987 movie “La Bamba” starring Lou Diamond Phillips and written/directed by Luis Valdez.

J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson is known for ‘Chantilly Lace,’ ‘Crazy Blues,’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood.'

McLean’s song “American Pie” came out in 1972.

But February made me shiver

With every paper I'd deliver

Bad news on the doorstep

I couldn't take one more step

I can't remember if I cried

When I read about his widowed bride

Something touched me deep inside

The day the music died

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All Rights Reserved.