February 3 - 1959 - Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper Die in a Plane Crash

In 1959, Buddy Holly was one of the biggest Rock 'n' Roll stars, the Big Bopper was a chart topper, and Richie Valens was a 17 year old sensation. They all were on a Midwest tour, playing small venues throughout the early part of 1959. The winter tour was poorly planned and saw a series of bus problems and health issues from the cold among the musicians. Therefore, after a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly arranged for a plane to take him and his band to their next stop. Shortly after takeoff, however, the young pilot lost control of the plane, and all four people onboard died instantly. This would seem to be a groundbreaking moment in Rock 'n' Roll's arc, with the musicians involved seeming to have been snuffed out with so much work ahead of them. It also came at a time when much of the rock world was suffering from other losses. The event would later be christened as "The Day the Music Died," but actually it was a setback and Rock 'n' Roll would pick right back up with groups influenced by Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper.

William Floyd