MoneyMatters101.com Home
February Holidays

American Heart Month Abraham Lincoln
Black History Month
Children's Dental Health
Burn Awareness Week
Dia de la Bandera
February Holidays
Floral Design Day
George Washington
Groundhog Day
John Glenn Orbits Earth
National Freedom Day
National Wedding Month
President's Day
The Day The Music Died
Valentine's Day


Email Us


Debt Free
Predatory Lending




The Day The Music Died

On February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, along with the pilot of the Beechcraft Bonanza they were flying in, Roger Peterson, were killed when the plane crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa.

The tragic deaths of the three young up and coming superstars, Holly, 22, Valens, 17, and The Big Bopper, 28, shocked the music world and created folklore around their lives that still lives on today.

As the featured acts, along with Dion and the Belmonts, in what was billed as the "Winter Dance Party Tour," all three entertainers were moving towards superstardom. Each act already had hit records under their belts and were looking forward to promoting their records with greater success by doing the tour.

  • Holly had three records that had cracked the top 10 charts including "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue," "Maybe Baby," and "Oh Boy!"
  • The Big Bopper had a big hit with "Chantilly Lace" in 1958 and had written hits for Johnny Preston and George Jones.
  • Although only 17 at the time of his death, Ritchie Valens had already scored hit records with "Come On, Let's Go," "Framed," "Donna" and "La Bamba."

Holly, who had recently left the group, the Crickets, had decided to start touring with another band he had put together that included future country legend Waylon Jennings, Carl Bunch, and Tommy Allsup.

The tour was to play in 24 cities in the midwest starting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and making stops in Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and North Dakota.

Due to bad planning, frigid weather, and a tour bus that had no heat, some of the performers and band members had come down with bad colds, flu, and frost bite.

After their performances at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Holly, upset about the condition of the tour bus, decided to rent a small charter plane to take him to the tours next destination which was Moorhead, Minnesota. The nearest airport to Moorhead was in Fargo, North Dakota. The plan was to fly to Fargo and wait there to be picked up by their fellow tour mates.

The small plane could only carry the pilot and three other people so choices had to be made as to who would fly and who would have to make the trip on the bus. Since Valens and The Big Bopper were feeling ill, and after some wrangling and a coin toss, they were allowed to fly with Holly and the pilot.

The plane and it's passengers took off from the Mason City airport shortly after 1:00 am during a fierce snow storm. The pilot lost control of the Beechcraft Bonanza and it crashed into a cornfield just miles from the airport. It wasn't until the next morning that the crash site was found. All four souls on board are thought to have died on impact.

In 1972, Don McLean released the song "The Day The Music Died." It has become an anthem of sorts for those who commerate that tragic day in pop history. "The Day The Music Died" lives on in the hearts and minds of those who still listen to and admire the music of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.

The 12 months of the year:

Book of the Month

Book about investing

Advertise on MoneyMatters101.com



Accessibility Policy| Terms Of Use| Privacy Policy| Advertise with Us| Contact Us

Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.

We are looking to create more mutually beneficial partnerships. If you are interested in partnering with MoneyMatters101.com, send us your proposal.


Link to MoneyMatters101.com