The Day The Music Died

On this very night, in the year 1959…

Following a performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa… Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson and their road crew drew straws to decide who would fly in the airplane, and who would ride in the unheated tour bus.

The unlucky “winners” were Holly, Valens and Richardson…

The four-passenger Beechcraft took off into a blinding snowstorm and crashed into Albert Juhl`s cornfield several miles after takeoff at 1:05am. The crash killed Holly, Valens, Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson, leaving Holly`s pregnant bride, Maria Elena Holly, a widow – she would miscarry soon after.

This event inspired singer Don McLean`s popular 1971 ballad American Pie, and immortalized February 3rd as The Day The Music Died

The funeral services for Buddy Holly were held at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas, and Holly was interred in the City of Lubbock Cemetery. He was twenty-three years old.

Ritchie Valens is interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California. He was eighteen years old.

At the time of his death, J.P. Richardson left behind his wife Adrianne Joy, four-year-old Debra Joy, and a baby son who was born after his death. Richardson was twenty-eight years old.

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