…With every paper I’d deliver, bad news on the doorstep, I couldn’t take one more step.”
–Don McClean-“American Pie”
Today marks the 62nd anniversary of one of the great rock’n’roll tragedies – ‘The Day The Music Died’. On Feb. 3rd, 1959, rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and ‘The Big Bopper’ J.P. Richardson were killed when their plane crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa. The incident was, of course, memorialized in Don McLean’s classic song “American Pie”. It’s also been portrayed in films like La Bamba and The Buddy Holly Story. For decades, an annual tribute concert has been held in Clear Lake.
The date brings to mind other music stars who perished in aircraft crashes, including Patsy Cline, Ricky Nelson. Ronnie van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Otis Redding and members of the Bar-Kays, Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhodes, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jim Croce (near Natchitoches, La) and John Denver.
The music world and our lives were greatly enhanced by their art, may they be forever remembered and rest in peace. One must wonder what they could have accomplished given more time on the planet.