The Day the Music Died - The lives of many musicians have been ended by airplane accidents. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, Rick Nelson, and three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd all died in airplane crashes.
Stevie Ray Vaughan along with three members of Eric Clapton's entourage (agent Bobby Brooks, bodyguard Nigel Browne, and assistant tour manager Colin Smythe) died in a helicopter crash.
"American Pie" is a song by American folk rock singer and songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was a number-one US hit for four weeks in 1972. In the UK, the single reached No. 2 on its original 1972 release and a reissue in 1991 reached No. 12. The song was listed as the No. 5 song on the RIAA project Songs of the Century.
McLean dedicated the American Pie album to Holly.
To gain time to sleep and launder clothing after a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, and to avoid the long bus journey to Moorhead, Minnesota, Holly chartered a plane for himself, Ritchie Valens, Waylon Jennings and Tommy Allsup. Jennings gave up his seat to J. P. Richardson (the Big Bopper), who was suffering from influenza and complaining that the bus was uncomfortable for a man of his size.
The pilot, Roger Peterson, took off in inclement weather, even though he was not certified to fly by instruments only. In the early morning hours of February 3, Holly, Valens, Richardson and pilot Peterson were killed when the plane crashed shortly after take-off.