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STRANGE FACTS ABOUT POP MUSIC
Harold “Chuck” Willis was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 31, 1928 and was a blues, rhythm and blues, and rock singer in the 1950’s. Chuck never lived long enough to realize his greatest success as a singer. His last hit “ What Am I Living For” was recorded and released just prior to his death from peritonitis on April 10,1958. Chuck’s swan song went on to sell over 1,000,000 copies and won a Gold Disc after Chuck was gone and it was awarded the Best R&B song of 1958. It seems Chuck had a lot to live for but he was gone before he knew it.
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was born in the small town of Dawson, Georgia on September 9, 1941. Otis and his family moved to Macon, Georgia when Otis was five years old and he sang in the church choir. It was there he developed his distinctive style and the “King of Soul” was born. Strangely enough Otis never lived long enough to see the release of his greatest hit, ” (Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay”. Otis died one month prior to the release of this classic from a plane crash into Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. One other small bit of irony Otis had met Barry Gibb of Bee Gees fame shortly before his death and was scheduled to record the iconic hit, “To Love Somebody” which Barry was writing specifically for Otis, but it wasn’t to be and the Bee Gees recorded the hit.
Ritchie Valens (Ricardo Esteban Valenzuela Reyes) rock and roll pioneer whose most notable hit was “La Bamba” was born in Pacoima, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, on May 13, 1941 of Mexican descent. Another notable hit was “Oh Donna”. Valens died in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper ( J.P. Richardson). The strange event was that Valens was only on the plane after winning the seat in a coin toss with Tommy Allsup on “The Day The Music Died”. Sometimes your number is up and heads should be tails.