The Friday Five: The Day The Music Died

This is more of a “Two For Tuesday Times Three.”

On this day in 1959, a plane carrying Charles Hardin (Buddy) Holly, Richard Steven Valenzuela (a/k/a Ritchie Valens), and Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr. (a/k/a The Big Bopper) crashed just after takeoff in Clear Lake, Iowa, killing the three of them and the pilot, Roger Peterson. But you already knew that, because Don McLean sang about it and radio stations played it into an EBS Special (which wasn’t Don’s fault; he had a number of hits, including “Vincent,” “Castles In The Air,” and “Dreidel”).

It’s amazing how young these three guys were: Holly was 22, Valens was just 17, and Richardson, the oldest of the three, was 28.

So, as a tribute, two songs each by “The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”


That’ll Be The Day Holly’s lone #1 hit, from 1957.

Everyday The flip side of “Peggy Sue,” which reached #3 later in ’57.


Donna Reached #2 in 1958; its flip side was “La Bamba.”

We Belong Together An album cut from his eponymous first album, released posthumously in 1959.


Chantilly Lace His one big hit, from 1959; it reached #6 in 1959.

White Lightning Was a #1 hit for George Jones. Richardson also wrote “Running Bear” for Johnny Preston, and “Preacher and the Bear,” the flip side to Jerry Reed’s 1970 single “Amos Moses.”

And that’s the Friday Five (plus a bonus) for February 3, 2017.

18 thoughts on “The Friday Five: The Day The Music Died

    1. It would have been interesting to hear what they would have done in the late Sixties and Seventies. By the Eighties they would have been on the oldies circuit.


    1. I always thought that The Big Bopper was a lot older, but he was only 28. Ritchie Valens did all his recording before his eighteenth birthday (which, unfortunately, he never saw). They were all very young and were such accomplished musicians when they died.


  1. Nice selection. By the time I really could appreciate any of these songs, they had been dead for several years. I don’t think I really understood the magnitude of that crash until American Pie was released (and played to death).

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    1. Me too. AND, I was TWENTY before my cousin explained the title! (That was 1993, for pity’s sake.) I think I may go out of my way to explain things to my children ad nauseam, but I don’t want them to ask me how I let whatever slip by.

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  2. Such a sad day. We love all their music. Since we do live here in Buddy Holly’s hometown, we’ve visited his grave at the local cemetery, and gone to events at the Buddy Holly Center museum. People come from all over the world to visit, also. There is always something going on here to honor Buddy Holly. Here’s a nice article about it all. πŸ™‚


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