History on Air

History Podcast and Blog Blog RSS Feed Follow us on Twitter Friend us on Facebook Watch Us on YouTube

03 February

The Day the Music Died

Winter Dance Party

Winter Dance Party Flickr

This refers to the plane crash on February 3, 1959 that killed all on board including Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, J.P. Richarson.  It was dubbed “The Day the Music Died” by Don McLean in his 1971 song American Pie.  Frustrated with poor weather conditions and illness Billy Holly decided to charter a plane to avoid the horrible conditions on the bus.  They all bought their seats on the plane for $36.  Valens won his seat on a coin flip from Tommy Allsup.

An investigation showed that a combination of bad weather and pilot error caused the crash just six miles from the airport.  Poor Holly’s wife Maria Elena miscarried her pregnancy just a day after watching the news of her husbands death on television.  Its because of this that the now long standing policy is in place, that families are notified before the media.  The accident is in both The Buddy Holly Story and La Bamba.

Learn More: