'The Day the Music Died' -- 3 Facts You May Not Know

Sheri Reed

buddy holly ritchie valens, big bopper memorialIt's been 52 years since the sad day that was later dubbed "the day the music died." Before your time? Mine too, but that doesn't mean I can't stop to mourn what was lost that day. On February 3, 1959, three amazing musicians -- Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson -- were killed in a small plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. It was a huge blow to the music community and a great loss of such young talent. Later Don McLean sang about this day as "the day the music died" in his famous song "American Pie."

We've compiled a few other interesting details about this fateful day. Keep reading ...

"The Day the Music Died" -- 3 Facts You May Not Know

What stands out about this sad day is not only the loss of musical talent we endured, but the youth of the musicians on board. It's hard not to think what these three men may have accomplished had they lived.

Here are some facts about this day that you may not have heard already:

  1. Buddy Holly was only 22 years old when he died, and he left behind his wife María Elena of just six months, who was pregnant at the time but miscarried soon after Buddy's death.
  2. Ritchie Valens was just 17 years old when he died, but in his short life, he still managed to become a pioneer for the Chicano rock and roll movement when he adapted the song "La Bamba." He won a coin toss with Holly's bandmate Tommy Allsup for his seat on the plane.
  3. J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, 28, also left behind a pregnant wife and a 4-year-old daughter. His son Jay Perry was born two months after his death.

Such a tragic day that will continue to be memorialized forever.

Are you a Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, or "The Big Bopper" fan?


Image via Atlantic Community/Flickr

Read More