LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - This Sunday marks the 60th anniversary of “The Day the Music Died.” Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson died after their plane crashed shortly after takeoff, but their influence is still being felt after all these years, drawing people from all over the world to Lubbock to celebrate Holly’s life and legacy.
Jacqueline Bober is the assistant manager and curator at the Buddy Holly Center. “I’m always amazed at the distances people will travel to come here to Lubbock to Buddy Holly’s birthplace, to the museum to see artifacts of his life, their stories of how they were introduced to Buddy’s music and how they’ve grown to love it and appreciate it.”
Gary and Donna Kernutt drove all the way from their home in Eugene, Oregon, which is almost 1,700 miles away from Lubbock, about a 27-hour drive. They came to Lubbock for one reason, to visit the Buddy Holly Center.
“This was one of my dreams. I never thought I’d get to see it,” Gary said.
Gary and Donna are high school sweethearts who both remember, “The Day the Music Died.”
Donna said she was in the cafeteria at school when she heard the news about the plane crash. The Kernutt’s say they still love and enjoy Holly, Vallens and the Big Bopper’s music to this day.
Gary said, “Even if they’re not here, they’re still our favorite singers.”
The Buddy Holly Center is hosting a variety of different events this weekend for fans of all ages starting on Friday. Bober says the Buddy Holly Center is not focusing on Holly’s death, but on his life and musical legacy.
Don Caldwell is a Music Producer in Lubbock. “I don’t think that there is any pop musician alive today that is not familiar with Holly’s material, and that hasn’t learned something from that. He established a way to make music that just weaves through all types of music.”
Paul Beane is a retired broadcaster and a former Lubbock City Council Member. “It’s been amazing to watch after 60 years his continuing influence in the world of pop music, it’s absolutely amazing.”