The Day the Music Died

Recently, I’ve been listening to Buddy Holly. My husband suggested that I should do a post about that day, known as “The Day the Music Died”.  I think most people know about it, but I wanted to do a post to tribute Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Most people wonder what these three legends would have accomplished had they survived.

It was February, 1959. Holly, Valens, and the Big Bopper were on the “Winter Dance Party” tour in Iowa. Buddy Holly got them a plane to Moorhead, Minnesota for their next show. They had been traveling by bus for over a week, and it is reported that their buses broke down more than once. The singers were exhausted, hadn’t been paid, and didn’t have any clean clothes. At least, Holly thought, with the plane coming, they could arrive early and he could do everyone’s clothes and get some rest. The pilot who made that fatal flight was known as Roger Peterson. He had agreed to take the singers to Fargo, N.D., where the airport serves Fargo and Moorhead. Peterson had just had a 17-hour workday, and was tired, but he agreed to make the flight anyway. Holly, Valens, and the Big Bopper packed and finalized the flight plan. At the time, Buddy Holly’s bass player was Waylon Jennings, and he was scheduled to be onboard, but gave up his seat to the Big Bopper. Holly’s guitarist, Tommy Allsup, gave up his seat to Ritchie Valens after losing in a coin toss. The three singers boarded the aircraft, Peterson received clearance, and took off. However, he was not told about the warnings of a blizzard. The plane was only airborne for a few moments. Some people say Peterson accidentally flew down instead of up, due to poor visibility. The plane plowed into an Iowa cornfield, killing all four passengers.

This story kind of makes you wonder…what if Roger Peterson had been warned of the blizzard up ahead? It seems to me he was way too tired to be flying. The CAB concluded that the primary cause of the crash was pilot error due to Peterson’s inability to accurately interpret the plane’s Sperry F3 attitude indicator which he was forced to rely upon in those weather conditions. Roger Peterson was not certified to fly solely by reference to instruments.

There are memorials to the singers and the pilot: a 4-foot-tall granite memorial bearing the names of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and Roger Peterson was dedicated outside The Surf Ballroom, a huge pair of black-rimmed glasses in a field marking a trail, a stainless steel guitar and a set of three records marks the spot where the plane carrying the three singers and the pilot crashed, and a monument for the pilot next to the guitar and records.

In a way, the music did die that day. It’s sad to think of how young these stars were, and what they could’ve achieved. So even though they were taken, the music of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper lives on in the hearts of countless people today. I guess you can say the music is still here, and always will be.

Gone But Not Forgotten


Young Frankenstein

It is very hard for me to make a list of my favorite movies, but if I had to, Young Frankenstein probably be on that list. It’s one of those movies that I could watch again and again, and I think that’s the sign of a great movie. Gene Wilder is such a great actor, and Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn and Teri Garr all add something special to the film. Gene plays Dr. Frankenstein, headed to Transylvania after learning that he has inherited his family’s estate. Frederick eventually becomes interested in his grandfather’s work and decides to continue his work of reanimating the dead.

Some of the funny moments in the movie include the horses going crazy every time someone says “Frau Blücher”, what happens when the monster stumbles upon the blind man’s cottage, Igor’s hump on his back changing positions, the little girl flying through the window…to name just a few. .  Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder work so well together. We just watched this movie the other night with the trivia track and it was cool to learn new things about the movie. You just have to see this movie to find out for yourself how good it really is!


Lady in a Cage

I watched Lady in a Cage the other night. Olivia de Havilland plays Mrs. Hilyard, a wealthy woman who lives in a mansion and tries to keep her son with her by giving him all he wants. William Swan plays Malcolm, her son, and one morning he decides to tell her he is going away. After he leaves, there is an electrical failure. She gets in her elevator to head upstairs, but it stops working. She pushes the button for the alarm installed outside the house, getting the attention of an old drunk man. He breaks in and goes through her things. Soon, there are five people in Mrs. Hilyard’s house, including James Caan. This was James Caan’s first big movie, and he did an excellent job. He and his friends terrorize Mrs. Hilyard until she almost goes crazy. There is murder and suspense in this movie. I recommend it!