If he was still living today Buddy Holly would be 75 years old. He was born September 7, 1936.
I remember it like it was yesterday, February 3, 1959. I was a junior in high school and for some unknown reason our basketball coach cut basketball practice short that day, releasing the mighty Pimento Peppers to the public early that afternoon. We probably had “peeked” and he could do nothing further for our upcoming Friday night battle with the Prairie Creek Gophers.
As I walked into my bedroom that late afternoon, I turned on the little Philco radio sitting on the stand next to my bed only to hear the report of the death of three “rock-n-rollers,” Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) and Buddy Holly. All three along with the twenty-one year old pilot, Roger Peterson, lost their lives in a small plane crash after doing a show in Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly was just twenty-two at the time. He has had a lasting effect on music, especially the early British invasion – The Stones, The Beatles, etc. For us kids Holly was like no other teen music person. He was not particularly good looking. In fact he appeared a bit nerdy with his black horn rimmed glasses. He even wore white socks when on stage. But when his music started, that “nerd” tag quickly disappeared for us. He and his group, the Crickets, came out of Lubbock, Texas. One fella even wrote a song about Holly’s passing and told us that this was “The day the music died.”
I was almost 17 years old when Holly died and now I’m almost 70. On Monday night, September 12th, I will be standing in front of a stage at a ballroom in Green Bay, Wisconsin; and yeah, it will be like going back to another 1957 four day rock n roll festival. At 9:45 p.m. I will see the “Original” Crickets on stage; and who knows, maybe ole Peggy Sue will even be there…
The sun is out, the sky is blue
There’s not a cloud to spoil the view
But it’s raining, raining in my heart
The weather man says clear today
He doesn’t know you’ve gone away
And it’s raining, raining in my heart
September 7, 2011