Crazy Blues: The Big Bopper

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7 Comments on “Crazy Blues: The Big Bopper”

  1. Fred Says:

    The Day the Music Died
    On February 3, 1959, a four-seat charter plane crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing American rock-and-roll pioneers J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens, as well as the young, inexperienced pilot, Roger Peterson. Holly’s band mates Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup had been scheduled to be on that flight, but, instead, Jennings gave up his seat to Richardson, who was too ill for a long bus ride, and Valens won Allsup’s seat in a coin toss. Dion (leader of the Belmonts) was invited to fly, too, but he declined because he felt the $36 fee was extravagant.

    • Kat Says:

      I saw the pictures of the crash and the plane was unrecognizable. It was a pile of metal. There were even bodies still around the wreckage.

  2. Bob Says:

    The day the music died had only one good result. The newly formed Federal Aviation Administration, created in 1958 as a result of a mid air collision over the Grand Canyon, created regulations that governed on demand air taxi operators flying small aircraft. Previously, anyone with a small airplane and a commercial pilot certificate could hang out a charter for hire sign regardless of their training, experience or maintenance practices.

    • Kat Says:

      I find it amazing that before 1958 there were no regulations for small planes. Needing just a plane and a certiicate sounded like a recipe for disasters which happened.

  3. Fred Says:

    In the case of The Big Bopper’s pilot, Peterson, he had not been certified for instrument flying, had not been sufficiently apprised of the coming bad weather (which necessitated using the instruments immediately upon takeoff), and was unfamiliar with the backward-reading dials on the “borrowed” plane he flew that fateful night.–Fred C.

    • Kat Says:

      I wonder why he didn’t check before he left about the weather. The airport must have had some information then he could have made a more informed decision-like not to fly as he wasn’t instrument certified.

      A tragedy!

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