Sunday, 3 February 2019


The Grandma homages Holly, Valens & Big Bopper
Today, the world of the music commemorates the 60th anniversary of the day that the music died. It was February, 3 1959 when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died in a plane crash.

This event inspired Don McLean to write his famous and awesome song American Pie, one of the most beautiful songs of the history of the folk music.

The Grandma, who is a great fan of folk and country music, wants to homage these three eternal musicians who died very young but continue living in our memories every time that we listen to their wonderful songs.

Before remembering these three genius, The Grandma has studied a new lesson of her Elementary Language Practice manual (Vocabulary 15).

More information: Vocabulary 15-Transport

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936-February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American musician, singer-songwriter and record producer who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll.

He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.

Buddy Holly
He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group Buddy and Bob with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band's style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. Holly's recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley, who had become famous for producing orchestrated country hits for stars like Patsy Cline. Its success was Peggy Sue.

In early 1959, he assembled a new band, consisting of future country music star Waylon Jennings (bass), famed session musician Tommy Allsup (guitar), and Carl Bunch (drums), and embarked on a tour of the midwestern U.S.

During his short career, Holly wrote, recorded, and produced his own material. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. He was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986.

More information: National Public Radio

Richard Steven Valenzuela (May 13, 1941-February 3, 1959), known professionally as Ritchie Valens, was a Mexican American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted eight months, as it abruptly ended when he died in a plane crash.

Ritchie Valens
During this time, he had several hits, most notably La Bamba, which he had adapted from a Mexican folk song. Valens transformed the song into one with a rock rhythm and beat, and it became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. He also had the American number 2 hit Donna'.

In early 1959, Valens was traveling the Midwest on a multiple-act rock-and-roll tour dubbed The Winter Dance Party. Accompanying him were Buddy Holly, Dion and the Belmonts, J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and Frankie Sardo. All performers were augmented by Holly's new backup band, including Tommy Allsup on guitar, Waylon Jennings on bass, and Carl Bunch on drums.

Conditions for the performers on the tour buses were abysmal and bitterly cold. Midwest weather took its toll on the party. Carl Bunch had to be hospitalized with severely frostbitten feet, and several others, including Valens and the Big Bopper, caught the flu. The show was split into two acts, with Valens closing the first act. After Bunch was hospitalized, Carlo Mastrangelo of the Belmonts took over the drumming duties. When Dion and the Belmonts were performing, the drum seat was taken by either Valens or Buddy Holly.

More information: National Public Radio

Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson Jr. (October 24, 1930-February 3, 1959), known as The Big Bopper, was an American musician, singer and songwriter whose rockabilly look, style, voice, and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his 1958 recording of Chantilly Lace.

J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson
Richardson, who played guitar, began his musical career as a songwriter. George Jones later recorded Richardson's White Lightning, which became Jones' first No. 1 country hit in 1959. Richardson also wrote Running Bear for Johnny Preston, his friend from Port Arthur, Texas. The inspiration for the song came from Richardson's childhood memory of the Sabine River, where he heard stories about Indian tribes. Richardson sang background on Running Bear, but the recording was not released until August 1959, six months after his death. The song became a No. 1 hit for three weeks in January 1960.

Richardson's first single, Beggar to a King, had a country flavor, but failed to gain any chart action. He soon cut Chantilly Lace as The Big Bopper for Pappy Daily's D label.

In November 1958, he scored a second hit, a raucous novelty tune entitled The Big Bopper's Wedding, in which Richardson pretends to be getting cold feet at the altar. Both Chantilly Lace and Big Bopper's Wedding were receiving top 40 radio airplay through January, 1959.

More information: Legacy

After the February 2, 1959, performance in Clear Lake, Iowa (which ended around midnight), Holly, Richardson, and Valens flew out of the Mason City airport in a small plane that Holly had chartered. Valens was on the plane because he won a coin toss with Holly's backup guitarist Tommy Allsup. Holly's bassist, Waylon Jennings, voluntarily gave up his seat on the plane to J.P. Richardson, who was ill with the flu.

Just after 1:00 am on February 3, 1959, the three-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza departed for Fargo, North Dakota, and crashed a few minutes after takeoff for reasons still unknown. At just 17 years old, Valens was the youngest to die in the crash.

More information: The Fotos Gratis

On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as the Day the Music Died, when this plane crash accident claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson.

The tragedy inspired singer Don McLean to write his 1971 hit American Pie, immortalizing February 3 as The Day the Music Died.

More information: USA Today

 That song didn't just happen. It grew out of my experiences.
'American Pie' was part of my process of self-awakening: 
a mystical trip into my past.

Don McLean

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