February 3rd, 1959 has been forever immortalized as "The Day The Music Died" due to the plane crash that took the lives of three young up-and-coming stars ... Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.
Between them, they had already earned 21 chart hits in the two years prior.
Buddy Holly was easily the most proficient of the bunch, in that he also wrote his own songs. He had already hit The Top Ten four times with early rock and roll classics like "That'll Be The Day" (#1, 1957), "Peggy Sue" (#2, 1957), "Oh, Boy!" (#7, 1957) and "Maybe Baby" (#9, 1958). The song released right after his death, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" (ironically written by fellow teen idol Paul Anka), would go to reach #13 ... and then, sadly, he never hit The Top 40 again. We will never know the untapped potential that might have been. His songs, however, have lived on ever since, recorded by artists like Linda Ronstadt, Peter and Gordon, Blind Faith, James Taylor and more.
The Big Bopper (real name J.P. Richardson) was a disc jockey in Beaumont, Texas, when he hit The Top Ten with his novelty hit, "Chantilly Lace," in 1958. And young Ritchie Valens was just starting to make his mark in 1958 with the hits "Donna" and "La Bamba." He was only 17 years old when their plane went down near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Over the years, WRCO Disc Jockey Phil Nee has had the opportunity to interview various members of The Crickets, Buddy Holly's back-up band ... and today he shares a few of those memories with our readers.
Today from the WRCO archives I have sound bytes from a couple of Crickets who gave me first hand stories of the great Buddy Holly back in 2005.
Sonny Curtis spoke about the early days with Buddy.
J.I. Allison helped write some of the most popular songs of the 50's.
He talked with me about his songwriting credits.
J.I. Allison's drumming has been influential on drummers that have picked up sticks since the 50's. I asked him about his memorable performance on Peggy Sue.
Be sure to listen to Phil Nee's THOSE WERE THE DAYS radio program tonight on WRCO ... WRCO AM FM Radio Richland Center Wisconsin
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