Buddy Holly is a name that should not be forgotten in the rock’n’roll music industry. He was a rising star whose life and that of other artists who accompanied him was interrupted by a plane crash. Are you curious about this deceased artist? Then read more about Buddy’s life, his wife, the cause of his death, and who died with him.
Buddy Holly Bio
Buddy Holly was an American singer and songwriter who was born on September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas as Charles Hardin Holley. He was the youngest child of his parents and his nickname “Buddy” was given to him by his mother. Buddy Holly learned to play the piano at an early age and his older brother taught him the basics of the guitar. By the age of 16, Buddy was already a well-rehearsed artist and had hits like Peggy Sue and That’ll Be The Day.
His parents were both dealers, and they were very supportive of the career path Buddy was pursuing. He was very accomplished, and his first recording session was produced by Owen Bradley on January 26, 1956, while his groundbreaking hit, That’ll Be The Day, was recorded with the Crickets in 1957. He was a fast-rising star in the world of rock and roll, but his dreams were cut short by his death, which was remembered in Don McLean’s song American Pie as “the day the music died.
Wife and Children
Buddy Holly was married to Marie Elena, who worked as a receptionist for a music publisher called “Peer Music”, and it was there that he first met her in August 1957 when he and his band “Cricket” visited Peer Southern Music. Buddy Holly asked Marie for a date, and five hours after the start of the date, Buddy asked Marie to marry him, but she only agreed to marry him after her aunt had given her consent.
Two months later, on 15 August 1958, Buddy and Marie were married in Lubbock, Texas, Buddy’s hometown. The couple settled in Lubbock for a while and later moved to New York when he and his band split up.
When he died, however, the marriage lasted only six months, and at the time of his death, his wife Marie was pregnant. And unfortunately, his wife lost the baby due to the psychological trauma she suffered at his death.
Marie was not able to attend his funeral because she blamed herself for Buddy’s death, and sources also said that she did not stay near his funeral and did not visit his grave. In an interview, she said she blamed herself because she didn’t feel comfortable during the time Buddy was on tour and therefore couldn’t follow him. She said that if she had been on tour with him, he wouldn’t have gotten on the plane that took him and the other artist’s lives. However, she later remarried and was also divorced, but had three children in the marriage. She is currently a grandmother and lives in Texas.
Since the death of Buddy Holly, Marie has done her best to protect his legacy. She has the right to his name, his image, his trademarks, and his property.
In 2010, Marie, together with Peter Bradley, established a foundation in the name of Buddy and named it “The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation”. The aim of the foundation is to provide musical education to new aspiring musicians without regard to their income, ethnicity, or educational restrictions. Training is provided in the areas of songwriting, production, orchestration, and music education. In this way, the legacy of Buddy Holly will be kept alive.
How Did Buddy Holly Die, Who Died With Him?
February 3, 1959, remains an unforgettable day for rock’n’roll music and its fans around the world. To this day, it is still referred to as “The day when the music died”. It was the day when three artists and a pilot died in a plane crash. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Roger Peterson (the pilot) were killed.
Buddy had planned a tour called The Winter Dance Tour, which led him to form a band with Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup, Carl Bunch, and Frankie Sardo as lead singer. Other artists who were interested in the tour later joined as lead vocalists, including the famous Ritchie Valens, who was known for his song La Bamba, J.P. Richardson and Dion DiMucci, and his band “The Belmonts”.
The organization of the tour was not easy because they had to visit different cities and the tour manager did not perform his tasks efficiently, which resulted in the transport logistics being handled haphazardly. In addition, some artists fell ill with the flu due to the poor condition of the tour bus. This prompted Buddy to look for alternative means of transportation, and they ended up chartering a 1947 single-engine V-tail Beecraft 35 Bonanza from The Dwyer to Fargo, North Dakota.
The plane could only carry three passengers plus the pilot, so they decided to flip a coin to determine which two artists would accompany Buddy on the flight. Tommy Allsup lost the coin toss to Ritchie Valens, while Waylon Jennings willingly gave his seat to J.P. Richardson because he had a cold, and so Ritchie and Richardson accompanied Buddy on the ill-fated plane.
After take-off the pilot was unable to steer the plane because of the weather, and so the plane crashed, and after waiting in vain, search parties were sent out, and the wrecked plane was found – six miles northwest of the airport – with the mutilated bodies of the artists and the pilot – all dead.
Since 1979, the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake – the site of its last performance and the place of departure – has hosted an annual concert in honor of and in memory of the deceased artists.