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The Day the Music Died

Currently, I’m working on what I hope to be 2 columns for publication in February 2009 to mark the 50th anniversary of The Day the Music Died. On February 3, 1959, in Clear Lake, Iowa, a plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing these three musicians:

Charles “Buddy Holly” Holley, 22, frontman for Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Richard “Ritchie Valens” Valenzuela, 17, solo artist known for his songs “Come On, Let’s Go”, “La Bamba” and “Oh, Donna”
J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, 28, disc jockey, songwriter and singer known perhaps best for his hit “Chantilly Lace.”

Originally scheduled to be on that plane was a young man who’d go on to become one of the leaders of country music’s infamous Outlaw Movement: Waylon Jennings. However, Richardson was feeling under the weather and wanted to get to their next gig early to visit a doctor, so Jennings gave up his seat on the plane.

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