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“The day the music died”: When did it happen and why is it remembered?


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The accident, on February 3, claimed the lives of American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP ‘The Big Bopper’ Richardson.

Photo: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The February 3, 1959 a plane crash claimed the lives of rock and roll stars Buddy holly, Ritchie Valens Y JP Richardson, the terrible event was marked in history as “The day the music died.” Now, every year the fact is remembered that it was at the time as important as the assassinated Selena Quintanilla for Tex-Mex in 1995.

On the night of February 2, the musicians boarded a flight that left Mason City airport for Minnesota. Buddy was only 22 years old and it was the young rock and roll promise; at his young age he had been the opening act for big stars, which included Elvis Presley. His partner, Ritchie had 17 years and he already had a great success: his version of the renowned song “La Bamba”. For his part, JP, known as “The Big Bopper” He was the oldest at 28 years old, like his colleagues he boasted great songs that positioned him at number 1 on the music charts.

They were not supposed to fly that day, they had gotten the plane after their bus broke down. JP was sick with the flu so asked to take a place in the plane, on the other hand Valens flipped a coin to decide with the also musician Tommy allsup who would be last. Not long after takeoff they lost contact with the radio and the aircraft was reported missing; the remains were found the next day in a cornfield.

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The news shocked thousands who could not believe that three of the most popular stars of the moment had died in such a way. It was determined that weather conditions and an error on the part of the pilot had caused the accident, however some rumors they asked to open an investigation Around the true causes of the accident, these were declined. Even in 2016 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) denied the possibility of reopening the investigation.

This terrible tragedy was immortalized in the famous song “American Pie” from Don McLean; the eight-minute theme talks about the American dream and rock and roll and also refers to this tragic day in the history of music. For his part, Waylon Jenning, who gave his place to “The Big Bopper” mentioned the accident in his song “A Long Time Ago” from 1978.

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