Let’s Take A Moment Day 425

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

May blog 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Ritchie Valens was just 17 years old when he died with Buddy Holly & J.P. Richardson a/k/a The Big Bopper” on “The Day The Music Died” in February 1959. So it is hard to believe this year marked Valens’ 80th birth anniversary. He was born Richard Steven Valenzuela on May 13, 1941 in California. By high school he utilized his self taught musical skills to play for his classmates & eventually joined a local band,

However, it was his solo reputation that caught the attention of Bob Keane, the owner of a small record label. He signed Valens in May 1958 & started his career with today’s song followed by “Donna” and “La Bamba” (Day 324). Less than a year later, Valens died in the infamous plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa. His legacy as one of rock & roll’s early pioneers stands more than 60 years later.

I love you so, dear
And I’ll never let you go
Come on, baby, so
Oh pretty baby, I-I love you so
“.

Valens

Ritchie Valens circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Ritchie Valens: “Come On Let’s Go” (1958, written by Ritchie Valens).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 324

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Feb 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

February is short but incredibly rich with music history. But the month that gave us the arrival of The Beatles in the U.S. is the same month that five years earlier produced one of the worst tragedies in American music. On February 3, 1959 a plane crash in Iowa ended the lives of Buddy Holly, 21; Jiles Perry (J.P.) Richardson, a/k/a “The Big Bopper”, 28 and Ritchie Valens, 17. The cause of the crash remains undetermined to this day and also killed the pilot, Roger Peterson.

After six decades, countless documentaries, movies, books and plays celebrating the lives of each musician’s contribution to music & their enduring legacy, there is nothing I can add here that will offer a different insight to these talented three men. And in some ways no one has since Don McLean’s 1971 masterpiece, “American Pie” where he immortalized the devastating event as “The Day the Music Died”. For a refresher on the lives of two of the three artists I recommend two bio-pics: 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story” & 1987’s “La Bamba”. Or just YouTube the music & historical footage. It is worth it to see all three men as they should be remembered when often times it is how they died which remains most notable.

There are many songs to choose from to mark this sad anniversary. This year I chose one by the youngest singer on the plane, Valens. His career was still so new he only released singles while he was alive. The first one was “Come On, Let’s Go”, then “Donna” (about his high school girlfriend) and then today’s song. I still find it astounding that in 1958 when rock & roll was still very much in its infancy, a reworked Mexican folk song about a dance sung in Spanish by a relatively unknown teenage performer became a hit. We can never underestimate the power of music.

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan
Soy capitan, soy capitan
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba, bamba
“.

Translation:

I’m not a sailor
I’m not a sailor, I’m a captain
I’m a captain, I’m a captain
Bamba, bamba
bamba, bamba
 bamba, bamba, bamba
“.

Feb 3 1959

Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Ritchie Valens: “La Bamba” (1958, written by Ritchie Valens based on a traditional Mexican folk song).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Remembering The Day The Music Died 60 Years Later

buddy-holly-jp-richardson-big-bopper-ritchie-valens

Holly, Richardson & Valens (original source unknown).

On February 3, 1959 the world lost three rising stars in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa: Charles Hardin Holley, known as Buddy Holly, who was 22, Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr., known as The Big Bopper, who was 28 & Richard Steven Valenzuela, known as Ritchie Valens, who was 17. Don McLean referred to this tremendous loss as “the day the music died” in his 1971 iconic anthem, “American Pie”, because in many ways, music and the world were never quite the same after this tragedy. The date signifies a loss of innocence and in its place a cruel lesson about good people dying young and without warning, despite how bright their future looked.

In addition to their musical legacies, the singers left behind family.  For Holly it was his parents, three older siblings, a niece named Cindy Lou (whom he started to write a song for which eventually became “Peggy Sue”) and his wife, Maria Elena Santiago Holly.  She is still alive and owns the rights to all of Holly’s music and intellectual property.  She was pregnant when he died but suffered a miscarriage following news of the crash.  She co-founded the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation in 2010 with Peter Bradley.

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly circa 1950’s (original source unknown).

For Richardson it was his wife, five year old daughter and son who was born two months after the crash.  All three have passed away.

The_Big_Bopper

The Big Bopper circa 1950’s (original source unknown).

Valens was survived by his mother, four siblings, a sister in law, nephew and high school girlfriend Donna Ludwig, whom he paid tribute to in his song of the same name.  It became a Billboard Top 100 number two hit after Valens’ death.

Ritchie Valens
 Ritchie Valens circa 1957  (original source unknown).

Today I am sharing some songs to honor these men and today’s somber anniversary.

For Buddy Holly “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” (1958) & a clip of him and the Crickets performing “Rave On” (1958).

For the Big Bopper:  “Chantilly Lace” (1958) as performed on “American Bandstand”.

For Ritchie Valens:  His most well known song & my favorite “La Bamba” (1958) and a great clip of him performing “Ooh My Head” (1958) from the movie, “Go, Johnny, Go”, which was released four months after the crash.

And, of course, Don McLean’s “American Pie” (1971).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

Until next time, happy listening!!!