It Was 50 Years Ago 'The Music Died'
February 3, 2009 at 8:00 AM (PT)
The music didn't really die on 50 years ago TODAY on FEBRUARY 3, 1959, the day a four-seat airplane carrying BUDDY HOLLY, RITCHIE VALENS AND THE BIG BOPPER (J.P. RICHARDSON) crashed into a cornfield eight miles north of CLEAR LAKE, IOWA, writes DAVID HINKLEY in THE DAILY NEWS.
That event was later called "The Day the Music Died" in the 1971 song written by DON MCLEAN, "American Pie."
No, the music lived. It just got bigger than anyone in 1959 could have imagined. Still, that plane crash deeply affected a rock 'n' roll world that in 1959 was still in early adolescence.
The term "rock 'n' roll" itself had only come into widespread use about three years earlier, though it had floated around the blues world at least since the 1920s as a thinly camouflaged synonym for fun under the sheets. When you're young, you don't think about death.