1958 Tour Of Stars Bus with Buddy Holly

Posted by Bruce (Tacoma, United States) on 6 March 2015 in Transportation and Portfolio.

For those of us who grew up in the 50's - Feb 3,1959 was a sad day when Rock and Roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa

This is the bus that was a contributor to the disaster.

The journey began in 1959 when singer Buddy Holly was on what would become known as the “tour from hell” during a bitterly cold jaunt across the upper Midwest.

He was performing in small music halls with other artists of the day, including Waylon Jennings, The Big Bopper, Dion and Ritchie Valens.

When the bus broke down, yet again, after a performance at the Duluth Armory in Clear Lake, Wis., he’d had enough. So he, Valens and the Bopper chartered a small plane at Mason City.

Their Bonanza Beechcraft crashed minutes after takeoff into a nearby cornfield, killing all aboard.

The incident was memorialized in the Don McClain song, “The Day the Music Died.”

It (the Bus) is now located at the XXX Root Beer Drive-in - located in Washington State.

I can remember the sad day.

I appreciate all the comments – I find them very encouraging. My primary photography is flowers and landscapes along with my grandkids.

Most of my photos are, “as they were taken.” I do work with lighting or darkening them in many cases but use very little “photo-shopping” If I do adjust them – I try to mention it.

My goal is to I try to keep my photography as photography and not turn it into art. While I do love the retouched photos, I personally think they become art and not photography – just my opinion.

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

That is a very cool bus and it makes such a charming photo.

6 Mar 2015 5:05am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Well, I knew of the loss of those guys but did not appreciate the role of the bus. Sad day for music.

6 Mar 2015 6:18am

Devi from Chennai, India

indeed a sad day...a poignant narration with the picture....

6 Mar 2015 7:56am

Lougris from Toulouse, France

une magnifique antiquité !! :):)

6 Mar 2015 12:47pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

I remember the plane crash but did not know that they took the plane because the bus broke down. Quite a lot of history here. Someone has kept the bus in good condition. A great image and wonderful narrative.

6 Mar 2015 11:55pm

Philnz from Ngatea, New Zealand

Thanks for the history to go with that bus. as you say a sad day thanks for posting. Bruce.

7 Mar 2015 2:38am


Nikon D7100
1/80 second
ISO 400
18 mm (35mm equiv.)


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