Friday, 3 February 2017

Feb 3rd: The Day The Music Died

On this day in 1959, Buddy Holly, J.P. (The Big Bopper) Richardson, and 17 year old Richie Valens died, along with pilot Roger Peterson when their Beechcraft Bonanza came down in bad weather conditions on farmland near to Clear Lake, Iowa.

This was the tour Holly did not want to take part in - it meant leaving his pregnant wife, Maria Elena - at home in their newly acquired New York apartment. But having trouble being paid by his manipulative manager, Norman Petty, he had little choice. He needed the money.

The rest is history.

Given the astonishing amount of music he left behind him, and the influence he had over musicians from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, to Eric Clapton and Don McLean, it is difficult to believe that he was just 22 years old when he died.

In the late 1970s a 'definitive' album set of what was supposedly every recording appeared to a great

However, even now, some 40 years later, obscure recordings on reel-to-reel still occasionally appear.

Some are mere curiosities, others are real gems that give us a great insight of how he played with every song until he got it exactly right. Some, which never saw the light of day for decades, have assumed great popularity among aficionados, such as myself, in their own right,

I'm particularly fond of this, which was recorded in his home in January 1959, just days before he died.

The great appeal for me personally is that this is unadulterated Buddy. Many of his most famous records were actually released after his death, and the aforementioned Norman Petty took the liberty of adding vocal backing tracks that were totally out of place.

His music is still played widely on the radio, and is constantly being reissued. Although overshadowed by Elvis Presley as a stage performer, his contribution to Rock n Roll was much greater.

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