Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Fifty Years Since Death of Buddy Holly

On February 3rd 1959, an accident happened in Iowa which affected millions of young music fans throughout the world. It has continued to resonate through the years, and there can be few people who have not been affected in some way even now, fifty years later.

Three young American singers who between them had achieved many hit records were killed in a plane crash. They had chartered the plane to arrive at the next venue on their nationwide tour quicker than going by road.

Richie Valens was only seventeen, and had achieved a good deal of popularity with "C`mon Let`s Go", "La Bamba" and the yearning "Donna".

J. P. Richardson, known as "Jape", was a disc jockey who made some novelty records, the best known of which was "Chantilly Lace".

And then there was Buddy Holly. Only twenty two when he died, Buddy, who looked far too clean-cut and studious to be a rock`n`roll star, had achieved a fantastic amount in his young life. A singer with a good and distinctive voice, he was the lead singer and guitarist with the Crickets, had a hand in writing lots of songs, and had even started to produce his own recordings, a practice unheard of at the time.

Those of us who remember the devastation and disbelief felt in February 1959 can be joined by millions who were born many years after the crash, and who in some instances don`t even realise that this exciting singer is dead!

There is a huge collection of songs associated with Buddy Holly which we all know and love.

For example, "Early in the Morning"; "Everyday"; "Heartbeat"; "It Doesn`t Matter Anymore"; "It`s So EasY"; "Listen to Me"; "Maybe Baby"; "Not Fade Away"; "Oh Boy!"; "Peggy Sue"; "Peggy Sue Got Married"; "Raining in My Heart"; "Rave On"; "Rock Around With Ollie Vee"; "Take Your Time"; "Tell Me How"; "That`ll Be the Day"; "Think It Over"; "True Love Ways"; and "Well All Right".

There were tribute records made, including the epic song written and recorded years later by Don Maclean, "American Pie", which coined the expression "the day the music died". There has even been a film, "The Buddy Holly Story" and a long running stage musical "Buddy".

The Buddy Holly story has never ended.

Thanks to Richie Valens, Jape Richardson and especially Buddy Holly for the outstanding amount of pleasure you have given us over so many years.