ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A sad day in Rock n Roll history - February 3, 1959

Updated on December 4, 2015

A tribute to these 3 legends

The day the music died

I always remember as a young kid being struck by a song I considered very special and a real treat to listen to. I was 11 years old when I first heard it as it topped the charts in 1972 for 4 weeks straight. It was featured on the 1971 album American Pie by Don McLean which featured other popular songs but this one was my all time favorite. I remember driving with my dad in his Chevy Nova and listening to this song on the radio and I remember having a real father-son bonding moment with him as we listened to the words and he explained what it all meant.

He told me how he and mom were big fans of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson Jr (the Big Bopper) and he told me about that sad fateful day when their plane crashed changing Rock n Roll history forever and leaving so many to cry and ponder why. I started to appreciate the music from all three of these young and very talented musicians who died way to young. It was a reality the world would learn by the headlines in the newspaper the following day of that cold, sad and tragic day of February 3, 1959 that took these 3 musicians and the pilot's lives in an instant.

I was always a fan of music and when I heard Bye Bye Miss American Pie I was amazed by the words, the emotion, the sadness, the length of the song and the story told. I learned through reading about the song and what my dad knew of it that it was written in tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens (Ricardo Valenzuela) and the Big Bopper (J. P. Richardson Jr). As fate would have it Buddy Holly was tired of the long and very cold bus rides on the tour they were performing on with the other musicians and he requested a charted flight after performing in an impromptu concert in Iowa during their "Winter Dance Party tour" to avoid the long and painfully cold bus ride to their next scheduled tour date in Minnesota.

Fate also played a part in Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper taking that flight and it is very sad knowing that all 3 went down in that plane and perished due to bad weather conditions that doomed their flight. It seems to be a recurring theme in the music industry of tragic plane crashes taking the lives of so many rock musicians on tours.

I love the music of Buddy Holly (Charles Hardin Holly) and one of my favorite songs of his is Everyday which I could listen to everyday. It just has such a wonderful sound and it picks me up every-time I hear it. I also love his song Peggy Sue and That will be the day. He was a young man of 22 recently married with his beautiful wife expecting their first child and he was so talented and had such promise as he was struck down so very young. It was sad for his wife who suffered a miscarriage shortly after the tragedy.

Donna is one of my sentimental favorites as is La Bamba which were sung by another young and talented musician given the name Ritchie Valens by his agent. He was a special young man only 17 years old who promised his mom when he made it that he would buy her a new house and help her so she didn't need to work so hard to make ends meet. He also left behind his girlfriend and a brother who had to comfort his mother when learning of the tragedy.

J.P. Richardson Jr (The Big Bopper), the oldest of the 3 was only 28 years old and he was a tremendous showman with a great presence on the stage and he really knew how to entertain his audiences. I always love listening to his hit Chantilly Lace which always makes me smile when I hear it. He had so much energy when he performed and he always played to cheering crowds.

We lost so much music talent that sad day and for that brief time they performed they left behind so much wonderful music for generations to listen to and appreciate. They are truly legendary and their music lives on for all to enjoy.

As we reflect on this sad anniversary we should celebrate their lives and their humanity and their beautiful music. May they rest in peace and sing in Rock n Roll Heaven with all the others who have perished.

Thank you Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper for your wonderful music and for entertaining so many!

Thank you Don McLean for immortalizing them in such a wonderful song that I listen to in its entirety every-time!

Edward D. Iannielli III

Buddy Holly "Everyday"

The Buddy Holly Story Musical

Ritchie Valens - Donna

La Bamba - Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens

The Big Bopper - Chantilly Lace

Bye Bye Miss American Pie

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • pongogirl2 profile image

      Jasmine Pena 

      6 years ago from California, USA

      love music also:) Thanks for posting such interesting hub article, love the song Bye Bye Miss American Pie, also hearing that song makes me think of that sad day also.

    • ediann profile imageAUTHOR

      ediann 

      6 years ago

      thank you all for your wonderful comments. it was a treat listening to the music of my parents generation and these 3 were all so talented. i wanted to write about my memories of them thru my parents and of the popular song that told the story. for my son matty who is a young kid and a fan of this music i wish to say that they live on in our hearts. they are what make music so special!

    • KF Raizor profile image

      KF Raizor 

      6 years ago

      Waylon Jennings and Dion could also have been on that plane. Dion didn't have the money and Waylon (Buddy's bass player) gave his seat up because the Big Bopper had the flu and wanted to get to the next town to get some rest before the show.

      Very nice hub, thanks.

    • ediann profile imageAUTHOR

      ediann 

      7 years ago

      hey wtf they r stll allive why u don't respct them? matty

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      You did a terrific job writing about these legends. They were all amazing:) I like how you weaved in stories of you and your father and him explaining the Don McLean song. I really enjoyed this hub and you had me very interested with your great pictures and videos. I love the song "Bye Bye Miss American Pie." In my college days that was the song that everyone use to rock out to in the bars. LOL

    • May PL profile image

      May PL 

      7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I was always a fan of the song "Donna" by Ritchie Valens, Ritchie died too young. Thank you for this story.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 

      7 years ago from USA

      Great story on a sad day in music history, we lost 3 great performers

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)