- Publish Date
- Monday, 7 September 2015, 12:50PM
Had he lived, Charles Hardin “Buddy” Holly would celebrate his 79th birthday today.
He was born in Lubbock on Sept. 7, 1936. Stardom for Holly arrived in 1957 with the release of “That’ll Be the Day,” but would last just two short years.
He delivered his final show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly, 22, died in the crash of a private, single-engine airplane shortly after takeoff deep into the freezing night of Feb. 3, 1959 - an event that inspired Don McLean's huge hit "American Pie" - the day the music died.
Also losing their lives that night: Ritchie Valens, 17, whose hits included “La Bamba”; Jiles Perry (J.P.) Richardson Jr., 28 - best known as The Big Bopper with radio hit “Chantilly Lace”; as well as pilot Roger Peterson, 21.