The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens
The night of February 3, 1959, the headliners of the "Winter Dance Party Tour" - Buddy Holly, the "Big Bopper" (J.P. Richardson), and new Latino star Ritchie Valens - boarded a small chartered aircraft. The tour was going poorly, with subzero weather, heavy snow, a string of dates in small-town dance halls far apart, and travel on a rickety, badly heated bus that carried all the tour's stars and backup players, as well as the equipment. Audience reception was enthusiastic wherever the tour appeared, but the performers were enduring frostbite and exhaustion. That night Buddy Holly hired a plane to try to get a head start on a good night's sleep. Little did anyone know that this flight would become one of the key dates in rock history - the "day the music died," as Don McLean sang in "American Pie.".
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Page 106: "McGill drove around 570 feet of skidmarks to reach the Bonanza, a balled mass of steel resting against a barbed wire fence separating the Juhl farm from those of Punke and Moffett."
Steel? Seriously? Steel does not fly well; that is why the only steel you will find in aircraft such as this are in the form of crankshafts, connecting rods, camshafts, cam followers, wrist pins, rocker arm shafts and engine valves...and that's about it. The rest of the aircraft (nay, the vast majority of it) is comprised of aluminum (entire airframe), magnesium (engine case), other lightweight metal alloys (pistons, cylinders, propeller), fabric, plastic, Plexiglas and rubber (in the form of seat foam and tires).
Just because it sounds good doesn't mean it should be in the story. Next time, please do more research on aviation in general.
Big Beat from Texas
The Big Bopper
THE WINTER DANCE PARTY
The Tour Begins
The CAB Report
Where Are They Now?
The Last Tour