Ron’s Golden Oldies – The loss of Buddy Holly

Ron is featuring the loss of Buddy Holly and others on the program this Thursday

Streaming Live on  Northside Radio FM99.3 Sydney’s leading Community Radio Station.

On February 3, 1959, American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and “The Big Bopper” J. P. Richardson were all killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson.

At the time, Holly and his band, consisting of Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup, and Carl Bunch, were playing on the “Winter Dance Party” tour across the Midwest. Rising artists Valens, Richardson, and vocal group Dion and the Belmonts had joined the tour as well.

The long journeys between venues on board the cold, uncomfortable tour buses adversely affected the performers, with cases of flu and even frostbite.  After stopping at Clear Lake to perform, and frustrated by the conditions on the tour buses, Holly chose to charter a plane to reach their next venue in Moorhead, Minnesota. Richardson, suffering from flu, swapped places with Jennings, taking his seat on the plane, while Allsup lost his seat to Valens on a coin toss.

Soon after take-off, late at night and in poor, wintry weather conditions, the pilot lost control of the light aircraft, a Beechcraft Bonanza, which subsequently crashed into a cornfield, killing all four on board. 

The event has since been mentioned in several songs and films. Various monuments have been erected at the crash site and in Clear Lake, where an annual memorial concert is also held at the Surf Ballroom, the venue that hosted the artists’ last performances. 

Ron will play many Buddy Holly hits during the show, along with many more of the early pioneers. 

Tune in this Thursday, noon to 4pm right here on Northside Radio

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