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Books About ‘The Day the Music Died’

In January 1959, some of music’s biggest acts decided to set up a 24-day tour around the American midwest. Three of these acts were Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper. On the night of February 3rd, 1959, the three boarded a plane intending on going to the next stop. Unfortunately, they would never get there. The plane crashed, killing the three of them. Don McLean immortalized this event in his song “American Pie” and therefore February 3rd has become known as “The Day the Music Died.” Here are a few books that go into detail about the fateful tour and the musicians we’ll remember forever.



Do You Believe in Rock and Roll? Essays on Don Mclean’s “American Pie” edited by Raymond i. shuck and ray shuck

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In 1971, Don McLean released his most famous song, “American Pie.” It was chock full of pop-cultural references, and a running theme is the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. Do You Believe in Rock and Roll is a collection of essays that discuss the song’s cultural and historical impact and the events it depicts.



The Day the music died: The last tour of buddy holly, the big bopper, and Ritchie Valens by larry Lehmer

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Called “The last word on a pivotal event in pop music history,” by Publisher’s Weekly, The Day the Music Died recounts the days leading up to the plane crash, the plane crash itself, and the aftermath from the infamous day. Any music fan would want it in their collection.


Behind the Music: The day the music died by Quinton skinner and martin Huxley

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Taken from the episode of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’, The Day The Music Died provides accounts of the ill-fated tour from band members, family members of the three musicians, and others who witnessed. It also includes details and material not previously included in the VH1 broadcast. Reviewers say they couldn’t put it down!



Buddy holly: Learning the game by spencer leigh

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This last book focuses solely on the most famous of the three musicians, Buddy Holly. Leigh discusses the important impact Holly had on music and culture despite his short life and career. The book includes interviews with former band members from The Crickets, his widow Maria Elana, other musicians who worked with him, and fans.


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