Russel Ray Photos

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On February 3, 1959, a plane crash in an Iowa cornfield near Grant Township took from the world three young musicians: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson. The plane’s pilot, Roger Peterson, too often forgotten since the crash was blamed on bad weather and pilot error, also died. Peterson had both a private pilot license and a commecial license, but he was still working on his instrument flying rating, which turned out to be critical in the bad weather.

At the time, Buddy Holly was part of the Winter Dance Tour that was to cover 24 midwestern states in just three weeks. After signing on to the Winter Dance Tour, Holly assembled a backing band that included Tommy Allsup on guitar, Carl Bunch on drums, and Waylon Jennings (yes, that Waylon Jennings) on bass. 1947 Beechcraft Bonanza 35After their performance in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly’s bus developed mechanical problems, causing Holly to…

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