On February 3, 1959, rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, with the pilot, Roger Peterson.
The three were on a music tour called "Winter Dance Party Tour.
For the start of the "Winter Dance Party" tour, Buddy Holly assembled a band consisting of Waylon Jennings (bass), Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums), and the opening vocals of Frankie Sardo. New hit artist Ritchie Valens, J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and Dion DiMucci (of Dion and the Belmonts fame) joined the tour to promote their recordings and make an extra profit.
The crash happened on the 11th night of the tour.
This became known as the day the music died.
Did the music really die that day or was it a lie?
The plane took off from Mason City Muncipal Airport in Iowa at 12:55 a.m.
Buddy Holly was aged 22 at the time of the crash.
Coral Records was able to release brand new albums and singles for 10 years after Buddy Holly's death. Was Buddy Holly recording these after 1959? How could he have that much material that hadn't been released? He'd only just started in 1956.
The Buddy Holly Story Compilation Album just happened to come out 3 weeks after his alleged death and by no surprise it did well. After Buddy Holly's alleged death there were a total of 14 Singles and 28 Compilation Albums that came out. Wow, the guy was only recording from 1956-1959? Where did all those recordings come from? In 3 years?
Ritchie Valens was aged 17 at the time of the crash.
The self titled Ritchie Valens Album came out the month after he died. Another album followed in October of 1959. Also an addition 9 compilation albums came out after Ritchie's alleged death. That was for someone who was 17 years old and just started recording in 1957. So for 2 years he somehow produced all these songs. He recorded all this from ages 15-17 too somehow.
The Big Bopper Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. was aged 28 at the time of the crash. He came on the scene in 1954.
The Big Bopper wasn't as popular as Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. He doesn't seem to have gotten a lot of recognition post alleged death with albums and singles. I guess he fake his death and didn't have any extra material to record.
Some laughable media stories to sell the myth of this plane crash:
- Big Bopper had contracted flu during the tour and asked musician Waylon Jennings who originally was going to fly instead of taking the bus to the next tour stop for his seat on the plane. When Holly learned that Jennings was not going to fly, he said in jest: "Well, I hope your ol' bus freezes up." Jennings responded: "Well, I hope your ol' plane crashes".
- Ritchie Valens, who had once had a fear of flying, asked Tommy Allsup for his seat on the plane. The two agreed to toss a coin to decide. Bob Hale, a DJ with KRIB-AM, was working the concert that night and flipped the coin in the ballroom's side-stage room shortly before the musicians departed for the airport. Valens won the coin toss for the seat on the flight. Dion had been approached to join the flight, although it is unclear exactly when he was asked. Dion decided that since the $36 fare (equivalent to US$292.20 in today's money) equaled the monthly rent his parents paid for his childhood apartment, he could not justify the indulgence
- Holly's pregnant wife, María Elena, learned of his death from the reports on television. A widow after only six months of marriage, she suffered a miscarriage shortly after, reportedly due to "psychological trauma". Holly's mother, on hearing the news on the radio at home in Lubbock, Texas, screamed and collapsed. María Elena Holly did not attend the funeral and has never visited the grave site. She later said in an interview: "In a way, I blame myself. I was not feeling well when he left. I was two weeks pregnant, and I wanted Buddy to stay with me, but he had scheduled that tour. It was the only time I wasn't with him. And I blame myself because I know that, if only I had gone along, Buddy never would have gotten into that airplane."
- Holly's glasses were lost immediately after the crash. In March 1980, they were discovered in a Cerro Gordo County courthouse storage area. Sheriff Gerald Allen, who found them, presumed they were discovered by a farmer after the snow melted, placed in an envelope dated April 7, 1959, (along with The Big Bopper's watch, a lighter, two pairs of dice and part of another watch), and misplaced when the county moved courthouses. The glasses, missing their lenses, were returned to his widow Maria a year later, after a legal contest over them with his parents.
- In January 2007, Big Bopper's son Jay requested that his father's body be exhumed and
an autopsy be performed to settle the rumors that a gun was fired or
that Richardson initially survived the crash. The autopsy was performed by Dr. Bill Bass, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Jay was present with Dr. Bass throughout the autopsy and observed as
the casket was opened; both men were surprised to find the remains well
enough preserved to be recognizable as those of the late rock star. "Dad
still amazes me 48 years after his death, that he was in remarkable
shape," Richardson told the Associated Press. "I surprised myself. I
handled it better than I thought I would".
Dr. Bass's findings indicated no signs of foul play. He was quoted as
saying, "There are fractures from head to toe. Massive fractures
...[Richardson] died immediately. He didn't crawl away. He didn't walk
away from the plane".
After the autopsy, Richardson's body was placed in a new casket made by the same company as the original, then was reburied next to his wife in Beaumont's Forest Lawn Cemetery. Jay then allowed the old casket to be put on display at the Texas Musicians Museum. In December 2008, Jay Richardson announced that he would be placing the old casket up for auction on eBay, giving a share of the proceeds to the Texas Musicians Museum, but downplayed the suggestion in later interviews
- On March 3, 2015, it was announced that the National Transportation Safety Board, the successor to the Civil Aeronautics Board, had agreed to consider reopening the investigation into the accident. A final decision may not be made until 2016. The new investigation was proposed by L. J. Coon, a retired pilot from New England, who felt that the conclusion of the 1959 investigation was inaccurate. Coon suspected a possible operational failure of the right rudder and also requested a review of the fuel readings, as well as a possible improper weight distribution. Coon also argued that Peterson may have tried to land the plane and requested that his efforts should be recognized. Coon approached the National Transportation Safety Board's cold case unit with his personal investigation because he felt that the verdict "amounted to an injustice for Roger Peterson
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper faked their deaths.
I think this was part of the plan before launching their careers. This promotes the plane crash agenda of putting fear into people's minds about traveling by plane. Faking plane crashes also helps puts more safety regulations on airplanes. Safety regulations on planes and cars keep getting stricter. It's become over-regulation.
I don't think the music industry was as popular in the 1950s as it is today or after this fake crash. This might have been the spark and jolt to get young baby boomers interested in music.
Also the music in the 1950s sounds very innocent to what we heard coming out of the 1960s up until today. Was the music industry needing a big fake disaster death event to change the tone of the music they wanted us slaves to listen to?
Starting in the 1960s the music industry really took off with the Beatles, British Invasion, rock music hippie music, and suddenly music became part of American Culture like never before.
Fake a plane crash with young musicians to get young Americans thinking about a culture of music and especially the changes that were coming ahead for the 1960s.