♪♫ The day the music died: Don McLean ode to Buddy Holly and co.
In 1959, on Feb. 3, 52 years ago, a plane carrying rock-and-roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P "The Big Bopper" Richardson crashed in a a cornfield in Iowa, killing all three and the pilot. It was a moment that looms so large in music history that there are literally thousands of books that discuss the day and its impact.
In New Rochelle, N.Y., a boy was so influenced by the crash that he would grow up and record a song in May 1971 about it. Don McLean's "American Pie" would receive its first radio airplay on New York's WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM to mark the closing of The Fillmore East, the famous New York concert hall. Years later, we can still hum along and mourn the loss of "the three men I admired most; the father, son, and the holy ghost."
Of course we'd be loath to not also celebrate the music of Holly, Richardson, and Valens: