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American Pie - The Day "The Music Died"

From:  "Ben Lawrence Basile" bulldogbenblue@yahoo.com  
Date: Tue Feb 3, 2004 1:45 am
Subject: Today's "The Day the Music Died"....

It is the anniversary of one of the most tragic events
ever in the history of American Music. It was exactly 45 
years ago today that Buddy Holly, The "Big Bopper" and 
Richie Valens were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, 
Iowa. February 3, 1959 was a very, very sad day indeed! 
The deaths of these three irreplaceable artists was
an incalculable loss for Rock 'n Roll....

Singer Don Mclean is responsible for that now-classic buzz
phrase, "The Day the Music Died!" His wonderful song
entitled "American Pie" which contained this now-immortal
phrase became a HUGE hit for this Scottsman in 1971.
It's a song that just about 100% of all boomers remember
well! Most of us can sing along and not miss a single word!

As we think back to this really unhappy event which
happened 45 years ago today, Mr. Mclean is standing on
the threshold of an extraordinarily *happy* experience!
In June of this year, Don will be inducted into the 
*Songwriters' Hall of Fame!* And this dog
cannot think of ANYONE more deserving of this honor!

The ceremony will take place in June of this year.
For more details about this and for any other info
about Don or his music, just go to his home page
on the world-wide web today:

Don Mc Lean's Web Site

There are many times in life when we think about 
great sadness or great loss and realize at almost 
the very same moment that there are some intensely GOOD 
and happy experiences inexplicably bound up together 
with the "bad" ones. On this day we remember that Buddy,
J.P. and Richie boarded a plane bound for their next
gig and never made it! That's a tragedy and the passing 
of these last 45 years have not done very much to lessen 
the sting of that awful news...

But we also see a man like Don Mclean, a fine singer 
and an extraordinarily gifted song-crafter, being 
recognized for his music.
Music which helped an entire generation come to grips
with this event and see it as one unhappy piece of a 
larger mosiac. A living, evolving work of art which 
has given expression to the hopes,
dreams, fears and sorrows of the Rock 'n Roll generation.

We remember J.P. Richardson, Richie Valens and Buddy 
today; but we also know--in no small measure because 
of Don's "American Pie"--that
it's not really the SINGER...it's the SONG!

Many Rock 'n Rollers have sung well and from their 
hearts and have amused, enobled or at least entertained 
us with their music! But
then their voices fall silent...

And even before our tears have dried, we hear another 
take up the song! And they--as all true musicians 
do--sing it and play it with all the love and artistry
and soul they possess! And then we realize that, although
musicians die every day--often way before their time--
the MUSIC has NOT and will not "die!" We see that music,
like love, is universal, irrepressible and eternal! 
The music LIVES TODAY--in a thousand singers, 
in a million songs and in you and in me!

Listen to some good music today! Think of these 
three singers we lost on Feb 3rd now many years ago! 
And think of Don Mclean, and the thousands of others
who bear the music within them and who share it
with us day after day after day....

No, the music ain't died! It lives and thrives in 
ALL OF US! Today and every day of the year!


Bulldog Ben, thinkin' back and lookin'
forward all at the same time!


Do BABY BOOMERS Like their OLDIES MUSIC? 
Whadda YOU THINK!?

Ben Oldies's






3 February 1959
Charles Hardin Holley, 7 September 1936, Lubbock, Texas, USA,
d. 3 February 1959. Holly was one of the first major rock 'n' roll groundbreakers, and one of its most influential artists. He wrote his own songs, recorded with a self-contained guitar-bass-drums combo, experimented in the studio and even changed the image of what a rock singer could look like: until he came along, the idea of a bespectacled rock idol was unthinkable. Holly's hiccuping vocal style and mature, melodic compositions inspired many of the rockers who would emerge in the 60s and 70s, from the Beatles and Bob Dylan to the Hollies. Later, British singer-songwriter Elvis Costello would emerge with an unabashed Holly-inspired physical appearance. Like many other early rock 'n' rollers, Holly's musical influences included both C&W music and "race" music, or R&B.

Full Bio on VH1
Official Buddy Holly Web Site





Richard Steve Valenzuela, born on 13 May 1941, Pacoima, Los Angeles, California, USA, d. 3 February 1959, Iowa, USA.
Valens was the first major Hispanic-American rock star, the artist who popularized the classic 50s hit "La Bamba". He grew up in the city of Pacoima, California, and was raised in poverty. His parents separated when he was a child and Valens lived with his father until the latter's death in 1951. Afterwards he lived with his mother and brothers and sisters, but occasionally they stayed with other relatives who introduced him to traditional Mexican music. He also enjoyed cowboy songs by Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and began playing in junior high school. It was while attending school that Valens was first exposed to R&B music and rock 'n' roll. In 1956 he joined the Silhouettes (not the group that recorded "Get A Job"), who performed at record hops in the San Fernando Valley area. Valens also performed solo and was heard by Bob Keane of Del-Fi Records, who took him into Gold Star Studios to record several songs. (Keane also shortened the singer's name from Valenzuela to Valens and added the "t" to Richie.)

Full Bio on VH1

Full Bio on VH1

Jiles Perry Richardson, born on 24 October 1930, Sabine Pass, Texas, USA d. 3 February 1959, USA.
After working as a disc jockey in Beaumont, Richardson won a recording contract with Mercury Records, releasing two unsuccessful singles in 1957. The following year, under his radio moniker "The Big Bopper", he recorded the ebullient "Chantilly Lace", a rock 'n' roll classic, complete with blaring saxophone and an insistent guitar run. However, it was scheduled to be the b-side, backed with the satirical "The Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor"; the disc was a transatlantic hit. The follow-up, "Big Bopper's Wedding", underlined the singer's love of novelty and proved popular enough to win him a place on a tour with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. On 3 February 1959, a plane carrying the three stars crashed, leaving no survivors.
Few of Richardson's recordings were left for posterity, though there was enough for a posthumous album, Chantilly Lace, which included the rocking "White Lightning". In 1960, Johnny Preston offered the ultimate valediction by taking the Big Bopper's composition "Running Bear" to number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic.

Full Bio on VH1

Here's a copy of the accident report..

on Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University web site:
Accident Report
February 3, 1959 - General Aviation - Mason City, IA


7 Feb 1959 A thousand people show for Buddy Holly's funeral in Lubbock, Texas, 1959

Life's Rock & Roll At 50 Book:

100 Greatest of ALL TIME are ..... (only 25 listed here..) 1. ELVIS PRESLEY 2. THE BEATLES 3. BOB DYLAN 4. JAMES BROWN 5. THE ROLLING STONES 6. MADONNA 7. STEVIE WONDER 8. CHUCK BERRY 9. MICHAEL JACKSON 10. KURT COBAIN 11. Eric Clapton 12. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young 13. Smokey Robinson 14. Aretha Franklin 15. Bruce Springsteen 16. Jimi Hendrix 17. Ray Charles 18. The Everly Brothers 19. The Drifters 20. The Beach Boys 21. Buddy Holly 22. The Band 23. Bob Marley 24. The Four Tops 25. Grateful Dead http://www.life.com/Life/lifebooks/rocknroll/ Life's Rock & Roll At 50 Book: http://www.life.com/Life/lifebooks/rocknroll/list.html List of 100 Greatest http://www.life.com/Life/lifebooks/rocknroll/gallery/index.html Life's Rock & Roll Gallery


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