Planes and musicians have not gotten along in the past. There is an extensive list of well know musicians who have died in plane crashes. This article will describe some of the plane crashes and well know musicians who died in them.
“The day the music died” was February 3rd 1959 near the town of Clear Lake Iowa. Music icons Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and “The Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson were killed in a plane crash along with pilot Roger Peterson.
Don McClain’s song “American Pie” gave us the term “The day the music died” in his classic about the event. Buddy Holly was a huge hit in the rock and roll boom that was going on in the 1950’s. Richie Valens and the Big Bopper were a little less popular but still had more than their fair share of fans.
Country music legend Waylon Jennings gave his seat on the plane to Richardson who was sick. Richie Valens won his seat in a coin toss with Tommy Allsup a band member of Holly’s. Buddy Holly told Waylon that (due to extremely cold weather) that “I hope your bus freezes up” Waylon replied in words that he would regret the rest of his life, “I hope your plane crashes” in jest. Pilot error and bad weather caused their plane to crash and take the lives of the men. The term “The day the music died” certainly applies here.
Patsy Cline along with her manager Randy Hughes, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas were killed on March 5 1963 in a plane crash. Their plane went down in Camden Tennessee. According to Elvispelvis.com country singer Jack Angin was killed in a car wreck on the way to Cline’s funeral. Patsy Cline was probably the most popular female country singer of her time.
Jim Croce a well known singer and song writer from the 1970s died on September 20 1973. The plane he was in, hit a tree at takeoff in Natchitoches Louisiana.
John Denver a popular singer and actor died October 12th 1997 when the plane he was flying crashed in Monterey Bay. It was an experimental plane he had got the day before he crashed it and died.
Reba McEntire lost 7 members of her country music band in addition to her road manager and two pilots on March 17 1991. Their plane crashed into a mountain near San Diego and the Mexican border according to this New York Times article.
Ronnie Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd) along with Steve Gaines among others were killed on October 20th 1977 in Gillsburg M.S. Their plane ran out of fuel and crashed, several people did survive the crash.
Rick Nelson, Glen Miller and Otis Redding also died in plane crashes. More information about musicians killed in plane crashes can be found here at Elvispelvis.com and at listverse.com.