Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Day the Music Died

On February 3, 1959, just north of Clear Lake, IA, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and JP Richardson (The Big Bopper) were killed in a small plane crash.

They had just finished performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.

We went inside and were invited to go up on the stage. We even danced a little.

The last known picture of Buddy Holly.

Many other famous performers have appeared at the Surf, both before and after that fateful night.

Including two of my favorites, Toby Keith,

and Josh Turner.

I was even allowed to see inside the Green Room, where all the performers have signed the wall.

The most amazing was the first verse of the song "American Pie," which tells about that night, handwritten by Don McLean himself.

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.


  1. Bye bye Miss American Pie, I drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry, Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye singing "This'll be the day that I die, this'll be the day that I die."

    That's a blast from the past. Thanks for the history lesson!!

  2. I love all the signatures on the wall - that must have been interesting.


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