60th Anniversary–The Day The Music Died

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by MichaelWinicki, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    60 years ago, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died when their Beechcraft Bonanza crashed after a distance of only 6 miles from the Mason City, Iowa airport on their way to Fargo, ND.

    From an eyewitness, the plane took off normally at 12:55AM and reached an altitude of about 800' when its taillights were seen quickly descending.

    Not hearing from the pilot for several hours, the owner of the plane took off in another plane to retrace the route. At about 9:35AM, the wreckage was spotted.

    It appeared the plane's right wing hit the ground first, causing the plane to cart-wheel for several hundred feet.

    The bulk of the plane ended up propped along a fence. Holly & Valen's bodies were nearby. The pilot was in still within the plane. Richardson's body was ejected several feet beyond the fence line.

    All died via numerous broken bones and trauma (not too mention it was below freezing).

    It was the first of the famous airplane deaths during the rock era.
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  2. JohnnyTheFox

    JohnnyTheFox Achilleslastand

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    Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup were supposed to be on the plane but traded their seats to Richardson and Valens via a agreement and flip of the coin respectively. How sad, what a horrible tragedy.
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  3. CouchCoach

    CouchCoach Well-Known Member

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    Buddy Holly heads my list of composers/musicians of "where might they have taken their art"? Because of the style of his music, Waylon being in his band and being from West Texas, I think he would have ended up in Country and been a driving force in it. There was a beauty to his music that has withstood the test of time. I can hear "Peggy Sue", "Everyday" or "True Love Ways" and they're as great as they were when I first heard them and Peter and Gordon covered that latter one as a tribute to him.

    Valens was the one they said would never make it but he might have bridged the gap between the Tejano music of his time and the blossoming of rock n roll and given us a different art form because back then, rock n roll was being molded and no one was sure exactly what it was.

    The music world was robbed that day because we didn't get to see where two creative individuals might take it. I was 11 then but had some friends that were teenagers and that was the first time I saw just how sad teenage girls could be. They were crying and holding onto each other as if they'd been family. I would see that same reaction from grown women when Elvis died. And I felt the same way when John Lennon died.

    Michael, thanks for this. I have no interest in this game and now know what I will be doing late this afternoon. Renewing some old acquaintances with two young man that awakened me to rock n roll.
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  4. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    I don't have any interest in the game either... lol

    Agree with you take on Holly and Valens and what their futures may have led.

    "Bopper" was probably at the end of his R&R singing career. Middle-aged with an established shtick when it came to music, he probably wasn't going to be a "hit-machine" in the future. But behind the scenes he probably would have been pretty influential on young talent... At least until the Beatles arrived and then he may have stuck to the country music scene.

    As a side note there was always speculation that Bopper survived the crash and manage to crawl out beyond the fence. Another "angle" was a gun found on the scene that belonged to Buddy Holly and maybe someone shot Bopper as he tried getting away (yeah farfetched).

    Anyway a few years ago the cemetery where J.P. Richardson rests had to move his body... So he was exhumed. But before he was placed in a new coffin to a new location, his family wanted his body X-rayed to sort out any lingering mysteries about his death or what happened on that plane.

    Needless to say the X-raying did not go smoothly. He was called "Big Bopper" for a reason! He was big!

    But they were able to sort it out and did the X-ray. And just about every bone in his body was broken including his spine. There was no way he was walking or crawling from that wreck– His body was thrown out of the plane after it had hit the fence. Nor was there any sign of a gunshot wound.

    A final note... The funeral home that took care of J.P. did a magnificent job considering how damaged his body was. The word is that he looked like... Well... J.P. Richardson, the "Big Bopper"... Other than his skin having a slight bluish tint. The state of preservation was remarkable.

    PJTHEDOORS Well-Known Member

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    Love Holly, Valens & Bopper. Been saying for years there needs to be a Winter Dance Party movie, showing the tour & how difficult it was going around in a bus in that freezing weather.
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    PJTHEDOORS Well-Known Member

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    Dion, who was one of the headliners, contends he gave up his seat. I believe his account.

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  7. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    That bus was criminal.

    I've heard Holly's wife say that if she had been there he wouldn't have chartered that plane.
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