For over six decades, each February 3rd has marked “the Day the Music Died” for fans of early rock’n’roll. It was on this day in 1959 when musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died along with their pilot Roger Peterson in a fatal plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. Eternally shattering the rock’n’roll community, the day became known as “the Day the Music Died” in credit to the ever famous line in “American Pie” by Don McLean.
The three musicians were simultaneously making waves on the charts and their absence was felt heavily not only in the rock community, but for fans across every genre. But their absence only makes the words, melodies, and timelessness of their music more impactful to their continuously loyal listeners.
How to Celebrate The Day The Music Died
Whether you have been a die-hard Buddy Holly fan since you first heard “Oh Boy!” or you are just now hearing about the tragedy, you can still find ways to celebrate today in their honor. Try blasting this The Day the Music Died playlist by Spotify user Tiger Army while you’re getting ready or on the way to your morning responsibilities. If you’re a musician, pick up your guitar or tune your piano and take your own spin on the musicians’ hit classics, like “Everyday”, “La Bamba”, and “Chantilly Lace”.
The day even gives those with the travel bug a great excuse to pass through Clear Lake, Iowa to visit the memorial of the plane crash site, which bears the perfect symbol by which to remember Buddy Holly: a thick, black pair of eyeglasses big enough to properly immortalize the music legend.
However you celebrate the day in their honor, don’t be afraid to take to social media to express your love and appreciation of their music. A boomerang of their LP’s spinning on your record player, a shared YouTube video or playlist, or a quick snippet of your best Buddy Holly impression is a great way to mark the day. The more you share, the longer the legacies of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson live on—and music cannot survive without those legacies.