The Day the Music Died

Buddy Holly in Fort Lauderdale, 1958

You might know the Don McLean song, American Pie, with the phrase ‘the day the music died’ but did you know that this refers to a plane crash that killed singer Buddy Holly? It happened on February 3rd, 1959. Almost exactly a year beforehand, Buddy Holly had been performing in Fort Lauderdale.

This was on ┬átour called ‘The Big Gold Record Stars’ and he and the Crickets performed at the War Memorial Auditorium. For the Everly Brothers, who were also on the bill, the show could have been a disaster.

The Everlys were a vocal group and didn’t have their own band so the local promoters had arranged for them to have a handful of amateur musicians from a Fort Lauderdale high school. Buddy Holly and the Crickets opened the show and the crowd loved them. But the Everly’s were horrified – how could their amateur teenagers ever compete?

Next on the show was Jerry Lee Lewis and once again the crowd went wild. The Everly Brother became increasingly despondent. They had to finish the show as the final act and they knew it would be a terrible anti-climax. They might even get booed off the stage. They were desperate. They couldn’t face this crowd with three members from a local high school band. In desperation, they appealed to Buddy. ‘No problem’ said Holly ‘we can’t let the kids in the audience down’. (He was only twenty one himself).

Buddy said that he and the rest of the band would back the singing brothers. They did, and the results were electric. Phil Everly said later that they had only been able to perform ‘thanks to God and Buddy Holly’. When the local reviews came out in the papers, it was agreed that the stars of the entire show were Buddy Holly and the Crickets. THe Everly Brothers, who were top of the bill, also received the hugest praise. The stars performed in Fort Lauderdale on, as far as I can discover. 25th February 1958.

I wonder if anyone reading this was there?

Posted by Las Olas Boulevard in : News,

  • Sunny, Waterfront Mid-Century Gem

    Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
    Set midway between Fort Lauderdale Beach and the fabulous Las Olas Boulevard, this quiet and secluded complex is right on the waterfront and enjoys charming Mid-Century Modern features. Fully moder...
    Short Term Rentals in Fort Lauderdale

    Las Olas Boulevard - there's no other place quite like it. Las Olas offers you the very best in dining, antiques, shopping, fashion, the arts, history and much more.

    Las Olas Boulevard is located just seconds from the beautiful Fort Lauderdale beach and enjoys the wonderful South Florida weather. When you visit us on the boulevard, why not come by boat? The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi will bring you right here.

    We have lots of special events which take place throughout the year and some of the nicest people you'll ever wish to meet are right here. If you're planning a destination wedding, there's no better place.

    The boulevard has a lot of history too. Stay at the Riverside Hotel - built in 1936, or visit the Stranahan House Museum and see where Fort Lauderdale itself began. Enjoy breakfast, at any time of day or night, in the historic Floridian diner. See the Elbo Room, the place featured in Where the Boys Are - the iconic Spring Break movie made in 1960.

    Las Olas Boulevard has something to suit all tastes, all ages and all budgets. Dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink in a relaxing bar. Experience fine dining in one of our many restaurants, or grab a pizza, sandwich, panini or salad. Enjoy cuisine from all over the world right here. And don't miss the treats we have for you - chocolates, ice creams, frozen yogurts, candies, pastries - all made right here on Las Olas. Eat at a sidewalk café, people-watch, visit our world-class museum of art, take the kids to the science museum for a day of fun, sit and watch the water traffic go by on the New River ... there's so much to do.

    Shop for the finest goods - and bargains too. Our stores sell everything from diamonds to dresses, from gowns to garlic bread!

    We have all your needs taken care of on Las Olas. We have a pharmacy, dry-cleaners, a deli, dressmakers, gifts, quality cigars ... in addition to pampering services if you're looking for a massage, a manicure or a magnificent haircut. We even have our own Sunday farmers' market.

    We haven't forgotten the business traveler. If you're in Fort Lauderdale for business, you'll find every service you need on the boulevard and what better place to work? Many of our restaurants have free wifi so you can check your email and write your blog as you sip an Italian coffee and enjoy a snack in a sidewalk café.

    We'll look forward to seeing you on Las Olas!