It's been 55 years to the day since the plane carrying Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper crashedFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's been 55 years to the day since a plane carrying rock and roll legends Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa.
By: Katie Lange, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It's been 55 years to the day since a plane carrying rock and roll legends Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Movies and songs have been written to honor the musicians - but there's much more to the story - including why our area will forever be linked to that fateful day.
Event organizers considered cancelling the show until other bands touring Valens, Holly and the Big Bopper arrived by bus.
Dion of Dion & the Belmonts should have been on that plane - instead, he felt $35 was too steep for a plane ticket from Iowa to Fargo, instead he traveled by bus.
You can imagine it was a similar evening 55 years ago to the day.
Bob Becker/ Musician “Terry Lee and the Poor Boys: "it was very cold that night. Very very cold and we were taking our instruments in to the Moorhead armory. It was just freezing."
Bob Becker was never supposed to play at the Winter Dance Party of 1959.
Becker: "Called me Tuesday morning and told me about the plane crash and that they had been killed in the crash, along with the pilot."
The phone call would come from Rod Lucier - program director at a Moorhead Radio Station - and in charge of booking the dance party.
Becker: "So, he said, be ready to play tonight."
The plane crash would take place the night before, on Monday evening... killing Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.
Becker: "people were just sickened by it, it was a terrible tragedy."
Becker: "they decided the show must go on"
Event organizers put out talent searches on the radio in Moorhead and Fargo.
Becker: "bobby Vee came and so did a young 6 and half year old Ronnie Kerber."
Becker - better known as his stage name Terry Lee and his fellow band members the Poorboys would also take the stage.
Becker: "it was really something because the Moorhead Armory at the time was packed. In fact the fire marshall wouldn't let any more people in"
Crowds of on-lookers watched...
"I think everyone was kind of in shock."
55 years later and the rock and roll legends are still remembered - there's no denying it was indeed the day the music died.
Bobby Vee - another performer that offered to play at the Armory that night was only 15 years old at the time.
He is still making music at the age of 70 - he released a new album today entitled "the Adobe Session"