Friday, February 03, 2006

The Day the Music Died

Today is literally the day the music died: Feb. 3, 1959 was the day The Winter Dance Party came to an end with the crash of a flight that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.

I listened to Don McClean's chronicle American Pie many times as a kid before I came to appreciate the rock-and-roll history it portrayed.

Its sad high school imagry and mentions of poets dreaming and the like appealed to me first, especially since the initial recording I made from the radio--and listened to repeatedly--was missing several early lines.

Since "American Pie" and "MacArthur Park" used to be the songs of choice for DJs needing a bathroom break because of their extended length, even missing a few lines, my tape had plenty of song left - several rounds of the chorus and many of the richest allusions.

Only after many listens did I start to learn it referred to Buddy Holly and his lost companions. I had to age a little more to fully appreciate their impact and what McClean was really singing about.

My iPod On-the-Go Playlist today:

American Pie
Chantilly Lace
Peggy Sue

"And they were singin' bye, bye..."


Anonymous said...

Hello Sidney, I love that song but it's so sad aswell. thanks for reminding me of it. I came via blog explosion so I wanted you to know i was here.
p.s. i also love More Dark Lanes blog.

Anonymous said...

What a great pick. i have every word memorized;)This song does function like poetry.

Treasure Island Oldies said...

Hi Sydney,
Enjoyed reading your comments. Did you know that Waylon Jennings, who was in the band, was supposed to be on that plane, but at the last minute got on the tour bus instead? It took him a long time to get over that. He eventually recorded a Buddy Holly Medley. I am going to play it on my Treasure Island Oldies show this Sunday, Feb. 5. In fact, the entire 4th hour will be devoted to remembering Buddy, Ritchie and the Big Bopper. I'll be playing their better and lesser know songs plus some great interview clips as well. The chat room will be live then too. Hope you can listen and join the chat room as well at

Sidney said...

Thanks to all for dropping by. Yeah, all of the songs I mentioned today are kind of bittersweet to me, but I like things that have an impact on me.

I guess that makes me think of another Don McClean song, "Vincent," and the mention of "eyes that know the darkness of my soul."

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