Fifty years ago tonight, the music world lost some shining lights. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper died when their plane crashed into a field on February 2nd, 1959.
We’ll never fully know what they would have accomplished had they lived. Yet there is little doubt of the impact that they’ve had on rock and roll. Artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Bruce Springsteen cite Holly as a key influence while Los Lobos credit Valens as an inspiration.
More telling is the breadth of their creative output during their shortened careers. Valens blend of rock and roll with the Latino musical heritage introduced a new musical language, while Holly’s distinctive singing style captivated audiences and his take on the Bo Diddley beat got them dancing.
One can’t listen to their music and not imagine the greatness that was yet to come.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.