Death is often referred to as a very good career move
Don McClean’s legendary song American Pie may seem overdramatic to some. But, for many, the death of Buddy Holly, alongside Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a plane crash in 1959 was a blow from which the world of music never quite recovered.
“I can't remember if I cried, when I read about his widowed bride, something touched me deep inside, the day the music died.”
All were young heroes of rock ‘n’roll: Valens, who had adapted La Bamba from a Mexican folk song to huge success was not yet 18. The Big Bopper (JP Richardson) was then best known for the song Chantilly Lace. But it was Buddy Holly, still only 22, who was perhaps most widely mourned.
Born Charles Hardin Holley in Texas, Buddy played in high school bands before turning to music full time when he left education. Further inspired by seeing Elvis Presley play live, he recorded his first single, Blue Days, Black Nights aged just 19.
A back catalogue of hits including, *Peggy Sue *, Every Day and Raining in my Heart reflect Buddy’s immense youthful musical talent.
Music legends including Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Elton John and even Motörhead frontman Lemmy all cited Buddy Holly as a major influence.
“I have a Buddy Holly bias,” said Lemmy.
We will never know what sort of lives or careers, Buddy and the other musicians lost that day would have had if they had lived. Happily, thanks to their rich creative legacy, their music will endure forever.