At first it was just a line in a 1972 song, but very quickly, Don McLean’s words in ‘American Pie’ became the iconic shorthand for the first rock’n’roll tragedy – ‘the day the music died’ – was February 3rd, 1959. The plane crash deaths of Buddy Holly. Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper shocked the teenagers of the 50s, and forever preserved their music and their images as we knew them then.
But, of course, their influence only grew as the years and decades went by. 65 years later, they’re in the history books, they’re part of our musical DNA, and they continue to inspire new generations. So how to honour their memory, celebrate their music, and mark this anniversary? Although no recording exists of that last show they gave at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on the night of February 2nd, 1959 – and even the set-list is a compendium of various witness memories – I will play the key songs they played that night in their proper sequence.
And – by the way – there were two other acts on that ill-fated Winter Dance Party Tour, who did not take the airplane and lived to carry on; I’ll play them as well. Their music and their stories in one fascinating hour that I hope you’ll tune in for this Sunday at 3 o’clock.
That’s in addition to our new first-hour feature: ‘The Sunday Sock Hop’ with great songs from the 50s and early 60s, and our final half-hour spotlight on one of Canada’s first teen-idols: Terry Black. That’s all on the next ‘Vintage Favourites’, this Sunday (Jan.28) from 2:00 to 4:30pm.