Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The day the music died

No sooner have we celebrated one 50th anniversary than we begin to think about another, sadder, event half a century ago on February 3, 1959. No doubt the media will soon be swarming over memories of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, but before they do the Vinyl Word pays tribute to the Three Stars.
I never got to see Buddy Holly and the Crickets in the flesh - I was a bit too young - but I vividly remember their live TV appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. I sat entranced as they performed Oh Boy, Peggy Sue and That'll Be The Day. I've been a Holly fan ever since and have most of his UK vinyl releases, but I know several people who are Holly completists, with just about every record that he released in every country of the world. What is it, I wonder, that makes Buddy's records sound so fresh and exciting even today. Whatever it is, I'm sure people will mark his death in another 50 years time.
Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper are maybe fortunate in a way to be linked with Buddy until eternity, but they both have their place in pop history and Ritchie in particular is revered in his way, thanks largely to the movie tribute.

* A quick word to mark the death of Dave Dee who with Beaky, Mick and Tich made some of the poppier records of the 60s.
And a word too about Mr Snooker David Vine. I met him in Warrington in 1983 at the first Mercantile Credit snooker tournament, which I recall was won by Willie Thorne. I was PR man for Mercantile Credit and this was their first sports sponsorship. Snooker, as Ronnie O'Sullivan rightly says, is dying and was probably dying even then, as the venue was only half full with an audience of anoraks and bored locals. But as a form of TV entertainment it has been successful over the years, due in no small part to David Vine.


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