Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February 3, 1959

50 years ago today, "the day the music died."

So long Buddy, so long Richie, so long J.P. "Big Bopper."

And yes, the story of how Waylon Jennings gave up his seat on the plane.

Hard to believe Buddy put out all that music in such a short time. He was 22. Richie Valens was only 17. The Big Bopper was 28. Holly was living in Greenwich Village and getting involved in the burgeoning folk scene at the end of his life. This is a few years before Dylan got there. Who knows what he would have done. Rave On, sir.

From thisdayinmusic.com:

A young Bob Dylan attended the Duluth National Guard Armory show on 31st January 1959, two nights before Holly's death.

The family name was "Holley". When Buddy received his first recording contract from Decca Records in 1956, they inadvertently spelled his last name as "Holly". He kept it that way for the rest of his career.

Buddy failed his draft physical because of his poor eyesight.

Many groups from the era named themselves after insects, they did the same and choose "Crickets" as it was the only insect, which made its own "music", by chirping. (They almost named themselves the Beetles!).

Buddy had watched the John Wayne movie The Searchers. Each time that Wayne became disgruntled with something someone said, he'd mutter "That'll be the day". That catch phrase became the title of the first hit record by Buddy.

"Peggy Sue" was an actual person. Peggy Sue Gerron attended Lubbock High School and was the girlfriend and eventual wife of Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly's drummer.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets were the first all-white group to perform at New York's famed Apollo Theatre.

He was one of the first rock 'n' rollers to use overdubbing when one-track recording was the rule, and one of the first to use strings on a rock 'n' roll record.

Their tour busses kept breaking down and when they arrived in Clear Lake, Iowa to perform at the Surf Ballroom the evening of February 2, 1959, Buddy decided to charter a small plane to their next stop.

The Beechcraft Bonanza, named "Miss American Pie," took off from Mason City, at around 1:50 AM on February 3, 1959. The weather was cold and snowy. The plane crashed just after taking off. The pilot, Valens, Richardson and Holly were all killed.

Don McLean's 1971 "American Pie" is inspired by the day of the plane crash.

Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Holly No.13 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Paul McCartney owns the publishing rights to Holly's song catalogue.

The 1992 Nirvana video for "In Bloom" is filmed in Black and white using 1950s era television cameras and shows the band appearing in 1950s attire, (including Kurt Cobain wearing Buddy Holly style glasses) in an apparent tribute.

Weezer's self-titled debut album features the single "Buddy Holly."

On Feb 29th 1980, the glasses that Buddy Holly had been wearing when he died were discovered in a police file in Mason, Iowa after being there for over 21 years.