Tag: History

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

Image courtesy of Simon and Schuster 

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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5 Facts about the Wild Life of Colette

This January, in 1873, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, known as her pen name Colette, was born. Colette was known for her scandalous love life, her prolific career that includes eighty works (Gigi being her most famous work), and just generally doing whatever she wanted. Here are some facts about her amazing life to celebrate her 148th birthday.


1.  Her first husband took credit for her early works

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In 1893, Colette married Henry Gauthier-Villars, pen named Willy and moved to Paris. Willy was a writer, critic, and publisher, and introduced her to a Parisian society of artists and writers. While she was sick, Willy suggested to Colette that she write stories about her childhood with even more scandalous details. Colette did, and this became her Claudine series. Willy then published the books under his own name. The couple seperated and officially divorced in 1910.


2. She Worked as a Music Hall Performer

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After divorcing her husband, Colette was left practically penniless. She found herself work in music halls across France, training as a dancer and a mime. She wrote about this in her novel The Vagabond, “What else could I do? Needlework, typing, streetwalking? Music hall is a profession for those who never learned one.” While performing in music halls, Colette continued to write fiction and struggled financially.


3. She was Bisexual 

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Colette’s love life has always caused scandal. While her three marriages and divorces (along with her affair with her teenage stepson) were fodder for gossip, it was her romantic relationships with other women that truly caused people to raise their eyebrows. Her most famous affair was with the niece of Napoleon the III, Mathilde “Missy” de Morny. They were together from 1906 to 1910, and were open about it until 1907, when they shared an onstage kiss that almost caused people to riot. Missy was also a controversial figure, exclusively wearing male clothes in a time where it was illegal for women to wear trousers in Paris.


4. She was a journalist

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Colette may have been known for her novels and short stories, but she was also a journalist and reported on the first world war, and topics not often talked about in her day such as sexuality, eating disorders, and domestic violence.


5. She was given a state funeral 

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Colette’s health was poor her entire life, but in her later years she was ill with arthritis and rarely left her house. Her husband Maurice cared for her. She died on August 3rd, 1954 at the age of 81. She was the first woman in France to have recieved the honor of a state funeral.

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