1959: The Music Died on This Day
Buddy Holly’s Winter Dance Party tour began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 23, 1959. With him was Waylon Jennings (electric bass), Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums). Traveling for the band was a nightmare on an unheated bus with long distances between venues. The bus broke down twice and Bunch had to be hospitalized for frostbite. Holly charted a small plane to fly from Clear Lake, Iowa to Moorhead, Minnesota for himself, Jennings and Allsup. However, Allsup lost a coin toss and gave up his seat to Ritchie Valens and Jennings gave up his seat to J. P. Richardson (aka the “Big Bopper”) who was suffering from the flu. Not long after takeoff and shortly after 1:00 a.m., the plane crashed in a cornfield where all the performers flew out of the plane and died. This day in 1959 was soon branded “the day that the music died” and was featured in the song, “American Pie” by Don McLean from the album of the same name released in 1971
- 1894: Norman Rockwell (painter)
- 1950: Morgan Fairchild (actress)
- 1956: Nathan Lane (actor)
- 1965: Maura Tierney (actress)
- 1976: Isla Fisher (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.