“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 delivered. 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.”
February 3rd, 1959 was that day. That tragic day that the world lost a rock and roll pioneer, and two who were just starting their careers; another ground-breaking young rocker, and DJ who had just churned out a novelty hit. If you’re not into rock and roll or are otherwise still confused, I’m talking about Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Holly was only 22, Valens merely 17, and Richardson was 29. I wrote a lot about them last year, about how Buddy Holly and the Crickets’ music was the soundtrack to my childhood, and how I got more into Richie Valens when I was a little older and felt so connected to this young man of Mexican heritage; I am also of Mexican descent and it was lovely to learn about this Mexican rock star who, like me, wasn’t fluent in Spanish but still proud of his heritage. He made the white kids dance to La Bamba, and I love him forever for it. Unfortunately, though, to have any sort of acceptance or success, they made him whiten up his last name, Valenzuela, to Valens because America was super white, largely racist, and very segregated at this time. (Sadly, it seems as though lately this country is trying to revert back to such a time…but man, one sad thing at a time…). Oh, and the Big Bopper! Chantilly Lace is quite a fun song. He had literally just starting putting out his own songs, unfortunately the world will never know what else he could have brought us. I feel that sting of what never was even more when thinking about Holly and Valens, though. Buddy was already quite a successful singer and songwriter, had many hits already. Richie had a handful of big hits as well, but his career had only started in 1958 and again, the poor boy was only 17 when he died. I truly believed they would have brought us so many more beautiful songs if they hadn’t died tragically in that plane crash. But their short rocking time on this Earth influenced all of rock and roll to come. The Beatles all loved Buddy Holly and the Crickets; in fact, that band name inspired their own insect name. They’ve done covers of Buddy’s songs along with so many other artists. And Richie Valens?! You wouldn’t have the mind-blowing guitarist that is Jimmy Page if it wasn’t for Richie Valens, or Carlos Santana, among many others who have cited the sweet, baby-face Mexican-American singer.
I think I did this last year, but I’ll do it again….here are my favorites of theirs:
P.S. ….even though I kinda hated this movie called True Romance, there is one fun scene where this song is actually kinda sexy.
Actually, I’m super fond of La Bamba as well, but this one is also super fun.
This is truly my favorite Buddy Holly song…I’ve always found it so soothing.
…..okay fine, here’s another favorite of mine:
Woulda look at that; another one got in here somehow!
Okay, that’s the last one, I swear; it’s just that….this song needs to be danced to as often as possible.
Rock in peace, my darlings. You are forever young and will never be forgotten.