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Looking around and looking up, just to keep an eye on the world of aviation and report those obscure findings and happenings.

The day the music died?
02 February 2009 @ 16:04

Just after 1 a.m. February 3, 1959, a three-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza went down about five miles northwest of Mason City Municipal Airport, near Clear Lake, Iowa. The plane crash took the lives of the pilot, Roger Peterson, and three musicians: Charles Hardin Holley, better known as Buddy Holly, 22; Ritchie Valens (originally Valenzuela), 17; and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, 28.  The three young musicians were part of the "Winter Dance Party," a ramshackle tour that started in Wisconsin. It has become famous, in Don McLean's "American Pie" formulation, as "the day the music died." The event has echoed through rock 'n' roll history for 50 years, representing, if not the end of rock 'n' roll itself, the close of an era, the end of the first bloom of rock anarchy and innovation.

As they have for decades, visitors have been making the pilgrimage to the resort town about 110 miles north of Des Moines. Tonight, the 50th anniversary of the trio's deaths, the city's Surf Ballroom and Museum will host a huge concert in conjunction with the Rock Hall.

The three young musicians were part of the



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