On February 3rd, 1959 a small plane took off from Clear Lake, Iowa for an airport near Fargo ND and crashed. On board were Buddy Holly (23), Richie Valens (17) and Jiles Perry Richardson, aka “The Big Bopper “(29). Today it stands as one of the great tragedies in pop culture history. Thanks to Don McClean and his ridiculously long song “American Pie,” it is also known as “The Day the Music Died.”
Even though the crash happened at night.
Which brings us to this week’s star Bobby Vee and his connection to that tragedy.
The morning after the crash, Vee (born Robert Velline) a 15 year old native of Fargo and a fan of Buddy Holly, gathered a group of musicians and offered to cover the gig that Buddy, Richie and The Bopper were supposed to play. They played the show and that performance started a chain of events that lead to Vee becoming a major pop star. He had ten songs hit the Billboard Top Twenty including his #1 one hit, “Take Good Care of My Baby” written by legendary songwriters Gerry Goffiin and Carole King.
Here’s one of his minor hits, “Baby Face,” a song published in 1926 with music by Harry Akst and lyrics by Benny Davis, not legendary songwriters, but successful. This song has been a hit through the decades. There’s even a disco version.
Great songs never die.
Have a groovy weekend!
Next week; Bobby Vee, Part Two; “After Dark.”