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The Day the Music Died - Feb 3rd, 1959

  1. Feb 4, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Just a bit of trivia that seems worth mentioning: Feb 3rd was the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly's death in a plane crash.

    The Beatles chose their name partly in honor of Holly's Crickets. Also, most here have probably heard the song American Pie, which honors Holly's death.





    Also on that plane were
    Ritchie Valens [portrayed here in the movie about his life]

    ...and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
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  3. Feb 5, 2009 #2
    While I was just a baby when it happened, I understand how this music effected our society. The prospective movies about them were just ok, some how they missed the boat on the passion these people had. And the only thing I can recall about the Ritchie Valens movie was the chick screaming "Noooooooooooo nottttttt Richieeeeeeee". I guess it might of been better if they did not have movies about them.
  4. Feb 6, 2009 #3
    Being born in 1944 I was of an age when the deaths of these musicians was particularly disturbing to me. For many in my age group rock and roll had completed its life cycle by 1960 or perhaps 61. We felt as though the newer stuff was simply not rock anymore.
    For example I graduated from Ft. Lauderdale High in 1963. Our culture was so completely different that as far as i knew not one single student in this rather large high school had ever tried pot or any other illegal drug. By 1964, with the arrival of the Beetles drug use became a sort of norm.
    But more to the point the Big Bopper was the one that I and a lot of others really liked. We were familiar with Buddy Holly but not so much so with Richie. This was distinctly racial as we normally never saw minority rock and roll singers on TV. As a matter of fact when I voiced an opinion that I liked Little Richard's songs I was sort of put down for it. Being that radio was where we heard our music I did not know that Little Richard was black, wore what was considered a womans hair cut and was probably "queer" as gays were almost always labeled back then.
    I still miss those guys. The American Pie album is almost mystical in nature and well deserves being closely studied. The line that goes "The three guys I loved the most, The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, packed their bags and left for the coast." is in reference to the death of purity as mentioned in East Coast rock and the move to West Coast rock such as the Beach Boys which was seen as a shift towards the devil and drugs. The Trinity was moving to the West to fight the perpetual battle with evil.
    To some degree we considered things such as Helter Skelter and the Manson family as a continuation of a shift away from God and towards evil and a sort of consequence of West Coast style of music.
  5. Feb 6, 2009 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Wow! I never understood that line and always wondered what it meant.

    The three men I admired most caught the last train for the coast. Why the last train?

    True for every generation since! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  6. Feb 6, 2009 #5
    Ivan, it might be that many passenger trains stopped running in the early 60's, due to plane travel. I have been to many small towns on the way west that pretty much died when the trains stopped coming.
  7. Feb 6, 2009 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Huh, I never thought of that. I was guessing that the East Coast talent was all heading for the West Coast music scene, but I like your explanation better. :biggrin:
  8. Feb 6, 2009 #7


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    I don't know about that. I'm in the same generation and have found some of todays music to be very creative and sounding good. Although I don't follow it (or the groups) with the passion of past years.
  9. Feb 6, 2009 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    For the first time in my memory, this is true! I too have noticed that some of the new stuff sounds a lot like the old stuff. But... how do you feel about Rap; Disco; The song Beach Baby?
  10. Feb 6, 2009 #9


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    The Beach Boys and the BeeGees are awesome and they came after the day the music died. Music, in my opinion, started going downhill after the 80's.
    All those songs that you posted up there are great classics, Ivan. I actually forgot about, "That'll be the day." Of course it does remind me of many old songs such as, "The Duke of Earl," which is another great song.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  11. Feb 8, 2009 #10
    To some degree one had to live it to get it. Like poetry the American Pie album has phrases without hard edges that can be taken in more than one way. But the people of the era that lived through this stuff were the ones that the album was aimed at.
    Looking at American music history you see such things as the saxophone being banished from Oklahoma in the 1930s. It was felt that the demonic and seductive power of the saxophone would lead young women into debauchery.
    Now we could all laugh at that but it wasn't so much different in 1956. We could only see Elvis from the chest up on TV as his gyrations were considered a mockery to society and religion in particular.
    And as i mentioned we couldn't even know that Little Richard was a black man. Holding the line in segregation was a huge issue back then. It went so far that white artists were free to steal Little Richard's work and they almost always did. Black men simply had no real standing before the courts. Law suits by black folks were almost always an exercise in futility.
    In 1952 I lived in Tunica Mississippi. I was in the fourth grade. Elvis would have been running all about Tunica county. Yet no one I knew had ever heard of him. And the good old boys really were drinking whiskey and rye. We really did drive our Chevies to the levee. My family had a Buick. It was a four hole. That was sort of uncool as the three hole Buick was the hot item for teen queens. Most white families I knew of were very much in favor of reform and fairness for black folks but we had not heard the words civil rights at that moment in time.
    I really do recommend spending some hours with the Pie album. There is quite a bit there. Even the little things like calling a Chevrolet a Chevy may have been more than melodic in intention. For example in the Delta (home to most important music) black folks did not drive Chevrolets. They usually drove nothing at all. But if they did own a Chevy it was called a Chevrolet as in "Let it be.". If the rhyme had used the white pronunciation it would have skewed away from appreciation by black audiences.
    For a wilder ride take a look at another few tunes. "Stagger Lee or Stagga Lee" is mentioned in at least four Rock records as well as in a rock opera from the 1930 era. Take a run at researching Stagger Lee.
    And then there is Glen Glenns BeBop a Lula. That tune just happens to capture the basic beat of forty or fifty years of rock. It is an astoundingly important little tune.
    The football player turned westerns actor, Jim Brown, had a habit of wearing red jeans in his western movies. BeBop a Lula is the teen queen with the red jeans on. I wonder to this day if Jim Brown had some attachment to a girl he associated with that tune.
    There can not be a fineness of grain or resolution small enough to be insignificant in music history. Like barbarians we have lost almost all of our musical heritage.
  12. Feb 11, 2009 #11


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    I always enjoy gaining a deeper appreciation in choice of lyrics. American Pie even made it into my own song charts, as I, at one time, played/sang a number of songs of that genre.

    I first heard Stag-o-lee sung by Dave Bromberg, who I assumed adapted it from a delta blues number. It rings a typical story line in blues of that era. Upon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stagger_Lee" [Broken] by Beck Hansen recorded on a Mississippi John Hurt tribute album.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Feb 12, 2009 #12
    The title saddens me!
    If it dies, I will have more chances to be male after years of eating two hamburgers - Water melon
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