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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
  • The night the music lived again

  • Feb. 3, 1959, has become known as “The Day the Music Died.” On that fateful day, rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson, the “Big Bopper,” were killed, along with pilot Roger Peterson, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.


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  • Feb. 3, 1959, has become known as “The Day the Music Died.” On that fateful day, rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson, the “Big Bopper,” were killed, along with pilot Roger Peterson, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
    Don McLean immortalized the event in his 1971 hit, “American Pie.”
    On Jan. 27, 1959, just seven days before the plane crash, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and Dion and the Belmonts appeared at the Fiesta Ballroom in Montevideo. Admission to the show, billed as the Winter Dance Party, was $1.50.
    There was little fanfare about Holly’s appearance, at least not in the Montevideo American or Montevideo News. I could find only a small notice on the back page of the Jan. 20 edition of the Montevideo News.
     
    The last line of the notice is missing. I guess there was no such thing as a perfect newspaper back then, either.
    After not finding much info in our 1959 paper, I tried some modern technology research.
    A search of the Internet under Buddy Holly in Montevideo revealed a poster for the concert at the Fiesta Ballroom.
    On Friday night, I attended “I Remember Buddy Holly & Roy Orbison” at Memorial Auditorium in Dawson. The concert was presented by the Dawson-Boyd Arts Association and drew a capacity crowd.
    Dick Dunkirk, who plays the Big Bopper and Bobby Vee with the current Shadows Band, was an original member of the group Bobby Vee and the Shadows, the band that replaced  Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper for their scheduled appearance the next night in Moorhead.
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