Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Day the Music Died

Today, February 3, is the 50th anniversary of the day the music died in America. On a cold winter night in Iowa this night in 1959 Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash in a snowstorm after leaving a concert in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Holly is considered the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll. His works and innovations were copied by his contemporaries and later musicians, notably The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and Buddy exerted a profound influence on popular music. On April 15, 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Holly #13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Also on the private charter with Holly were the Big Bopper and Richie Valens. Holly's death was immortalized by the song The Day the Music Died.

I was a huge Buddy Holly fan while growing up in Iowa. One time I played Oh Boy, a Buddy Holly hit, 43 straight times on a juke box to honor his death much to the chagrin of the country club members in the club Canteen who didn't like country music.

On that fateful night in 1959 I had tickets to the Buddy Holly concert, a drive of a little over 100 miles away, but the snow storm that killed him kept us from reaching the venue. It was a night I will never forget and I will always be sad at how close I came to witnessing his last performance in this world.

Buddy Holly belongs to the ages but his music belongs to us.
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