Feb. 3 is the anniversary of the airplane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson in 1959.
We started off the day with listening to the song “American Pie” by Don McLean, who wrote it in tribute to Buddy Holly. One response: How long is this song? (It’s over eight minutes.) Then we listened to “Peggy Sue,” “La Bamaba” and “Chantilly Lace.” We listened in the kitchen, through Alexa, so without any video, which got the response that the songs sounded like old songs so we talked about how they were from the 1950s and that was a popular kind of sound in the 1950s.
Then we watched this video:
After we watched it, one of the things that made an impression on the kids was how young the musicians were, especially Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens (They were 22, 17 and 28). Most of the video referring to Ritchie Valens was from the movie “La Bamba,” presumably because there wasn’t much video of Ritchie Valens. His recording career was only eight months long, tragically cut short by the plane crash.
My 9-year-old did the math as they showed the years of each one’s life and was shocked. The younger one said he hoped he would get to be older than that. I hope you do, too, I replied. Then he told me that I was already older than all of them were.
One strange coincidence:
This afternoon, I was folding laundry and decided to catch up on my “This is Us” viewing. The name of the most recent episode, which aired on Jan. 23: “That’ll be the day,” which is the name of a Buddy Holly song.