It was 52 years ago on a February third that Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash along with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. Singer Don McLean made the lyric "the day the music died" popular in his song American Pie from 1972.

Holly's influence is still heard today: singer-songwriter M. Ward recently covered Rave On! on his album Hold Time.

Holly was only 22 when the airplane crashed near Mason City, Iowa on February 3, 1959. Many of his songs have been redone over the years, including That'll Be the Day and Oh, Boy. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Gary Busey convincingly portrayed the singer from Lubbock, Texas in the made for TV movie The Buddy Holly Story.

Ritchie Valens career was just beginning, he had appeared in the 1959 film Go Johnny Go and had two big hits, Donna and La Bamba. He was just 17. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips played Valens in the movie La Bamba.

The Big Bopper was the nickname of J. P. Richardson, a radio DJ from Beaumont, Texas, who had a hit with Chantilly Lace. He was 28 years old "the day the music died."