The Day the Music Died: Today Is the 52nd Anniversary of the Plane Crash That Killed Buddy Holly

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Today is the 52nd anniversary of "the day the music died": the plane crash that killed legendary musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. The day was immortalized by Don McLean in his 1971 hit song "American Pie" ...


... which was then covered by Madonna for the Next Best Thing soundtrack:



But the best way to honor the men who died over half a century ago is to listen to the music they themselves created.

Here's Buddy Holly singing "Everyday":


Ritchie Valens doing "La Bamba":


And The Big Bopper performing "Chantilly Lace":

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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