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Posts Tagged ‘Ritchie Valens’

Died On This Date (February 3, 1959) Buddy Holly / Rock ‘n Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on February 3, 2010

Buddy Holly (Born Charles Holley)
September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959

Buddy Holly was a gifted singer-songwriter who, even though his career lasted just a year and a half, was arguably the most important figure in the birth of rock ‘n roll.  Holly was more of a traditional country artist before being inspired by Elvis Presley and Bill Haley to add elements of rockabilly into his music in 1955.  The following year, he was signed by Decca Records and formed his back-up band, the Crickets.  Over the next eighteen months, Holly released one hit single after another.  They included “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be the Day,” and “Oh Boy.”  These songs became a direct influence on the likes of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones.  Just as Holly’s career was beginning to take off, tragedy struck.  February 3, 1959…it’s been called “the day the music died.”  While on a U.S. mid west tour called the Winter Dance Party, Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens were on a small Beechcraft airplane en route from Mason City, IA to Moorhead, MN.  The winter weather was taking its toll on the traveling musicians.  Waylon Jennings had originally been slated to fly ahead, but gave up his seat to Richardson at the last minute.  Shortly after take off, the plane carrying rock ‘n roll’s brightest new stars crashed into an empty field killing everyone on board.  Initial reports blamed pilot error on Roger Peterson, but future examinations vindicated him, putting the blame squarely on the bad weather conditions.  Buddy Holly was 22 at the time of his death.

What You Should Own

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The Buddy Holly Collection - Buddy Holly

Posted in Early Rock, Musician, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (February 3, 1959) Ritchie Valens / Rock ‘n Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on February 3, 2010

Ritchie Valens (Born Richard Valenzuela)
May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959

The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly

L-R: The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly

Ritchie Valens was one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n roll as well as a pioneer of Chicano rock.  Born in Los Angeles, Valens was raised by parents who embraced the modern America where they now lived, but also kept one foot firmly planted in their Mexican roots.  From an early age, Valens was exposed to Mexican folk music, but also absorbed the sounds of R&B and jump blues he heard on the radio.  After his one and only audition while just 16 years old,  Valens was signed to Bob Keane’s Del-Fi Records in May of 1958.  In just a matter of months, Valens released hits like “Donna,” “Come On, Let’s Go,” and of course, “La Bamba,” which quickly became his signature song.   He would later become an inspiration for the likes of Los Lobos, Carlos Santana and Los Lonely Boys.  But less than a year after he signed his first recording contract, he died in one of pop music’s most famous tragedies.  February 3, 1959…a date that has been called “the day the music died.”  While on a U.S. mid west tour called the Winter Dance Party, Valens, Buddy Holly, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were on a small Beechcraft airplane en route from Mason City, IA to Moorhead, MN.  The winter weather was taking its toll on the traveling musicians.  Waylon Jennings had originally been slated to fly ahead, but gave up his seat to Richardson at the last-minute.  Shortly after take off, the plane carrying rock ‘n roll’s brightest new stars crashed into an empty field killing everyone on board.  Initial reports blamed pilot error on Roger Peterson, but future examinations vindicated him, putting the blame squarely on the bad weather conditions.  Ritchie Valens  was just 17 at the time of his death.

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Ritchie Valens

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Died On This Date (February 3, 1959) J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson / Rock ‘n Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on February 3, 2010

J.P. Richardson
October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959

big-bopper

J.P. Richardson, or as he was more commonly known, The Big Bopper was an early rock ‘n roll disc jockey turned pop star thanks to his big hit, “Chantilly Lace.”  He was also a successful songwriter who wrote “White Lightning” which became a hit by George Jones, and “Running Bear”, a hit by Johnny Preston.  Richardson began his career on radio during the late ’40s.  His first big claim to fame came in May of 1957 when he set the continuous on-air record by broadcasting non-stop for five days, two hours and eight minutes.  During that time he played over 1800 records.  In 1959, he reportedly coined the phrase “music video” when he made one of himself.  But shortly thereafter, tragedy struck.  On February 3, 1959 – the date that has been called “the day the music died,”  Richardson was killed in one of pop music’s most tragic events.  While on a U.S. mid west tour called the Winter Dance Party, Richardson, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens were on a small Beechcraft airplane en route from Mason City, IA to Moorhead, MN.  The winter weather was taking its toll on the traveling musicians.  Waylon Jennings had originally been slated to fly ahead, but gave up his seat to Richardson at the last minute.  Shortly after take off, the plane carrying rock ‘n roll’s brightest new stars crashed into an empty field killing everyone on board.  Initial reports blamed pilot error on Roger Peterson, but future examinations vindicated him, putting the blame squarely on the bad weather conditions.  The elder statesman of the group, The Big Bopper died at the age of 28.

What You Should Own

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The Big Bopper

Posted in Early Rock, Musician, Radio, Rock, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (February 3, 1959) Roger Peterson / Pilot of Flight Carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & The Big Bopper

Posted by themusicsover on February 3, 2010

Roger Peterson
May 24, 1937 – February 3, 1959

roger-peterson

Roger Peterson was a young pilot who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when the small aircraft he was piloting during a cold wintry morning in 1959 crashed, killing three of pop music’s biggest stars in a tragedy that has been called “the day the music died.”  On board the Beachcraft plane on that tragic day were Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens – all, including Peterson, were killed when the plane crashed into an Iowa cornfield.  In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Peterson was the target of blame by family and fans of the performers, but he would later be vindicated.  One theory is that the plane was equipped with an unusual gyroscope that read upside down from what most pilots were accustomed to.  Peterson may have thought he was gaining altitude when he was actually descending.  Another theory is that he was not informed of the treacherous weather conditions as he should have.  Either way, Roger Peterson, a well-trained and experienced pilot went down with his plane at the age of 21.



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Died On This Date (December 23, 2008) Don Randall / Co-Founder of Fender Guitars; Coined “Stratocaster”

Posted by themusicsover on December 23, 2009

Don Randall
October 30, 1917 – December 23, 2008

Photo by Robert Perine

Photo by Robert Perine

Don Randall was one of the driving forces behind the success of Fender Guitars.  It was Randall’s marketing savvy that helped secure such loyalists as Ritchie Valens, Jimi Hendrix and Dick Dale.  Randall also had to responsibility of naming the guitars that the company created.  In that capacity, he coined the name Stratocaster, given to the 1954 model that would help revolutionize the way musicians approached the instrument.  It was popularized by Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Holly and countless others.  In 1965, Randall helped negotiate the sale of the company to CBS and stayed on as Vice President and General Manager until is retirement from the company in 1969.  He later launched the successful Randall Instruments that built amplifiers and PA systems.   Don Randall passed away on December 23, 2008 at the age of 81.



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