February 3rd 1959: The Day the Music Died

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Big Bopper, Buddy Holly & Ritchie Valens

On this day in 1959 a plane crash in Iowa killed the musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper and their pilot Roger Peterson. The three were American rock and roll pioneers and thus Don McLean in his 1971 song ‘American Pie’ referred to the day as ‘The Day the Music Died’. The crash was concluded to have been caused by poor weather conditions and pilot error, as the pilot was not fully qualified to fly the kind of plane it was.

 

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Wreck of the Beechcraft Bonanza plane

 


Buddy Holly & The Crickets – That’ll Be The Day

Big Bopper – Chantilly Lace

Ritchie Valens – La Bamba

 

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The memorial at the crash site

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