Google


50 Years After ‘The Day The Music Died,’ A Boy Finally Met His Long, Lost Father

February 3, 2017 | Filed Under Entertainment, Iowa, Music, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off on


50 Years After ‘The Day The Music Died,’ A Boy Finally Met His Long, Lost Father

-By Warner Todd Huston

It has been 57 years since the plane carrying rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and Jiles Perry “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed into an Iowa cornfield on Feb. 3, 1959. It was memorialized as “The day the music died,” but the story has been a life-long event that haunted the world of the Big Bopper’s son, a boy who never met his famous father. But that total estrangement ended 50 years after the crash when that meeting finally took place in a strange but beautiful way.

The boy who was born two months after his famous father died in a tragic plane crash on the “Day The Music Died,” saw his father’s face for the first time, fifty years after the fatal day that stole the elder from our world.

How is this, you ask? This all may seem like one of those riddles or some exercise in logic but, no, I assure you it’s quite a true story. And the truth of the matter makes for a fascinating, if unlikely, story.

Jay Perry Richardson was born the same year his father died in a plane accident that was mourned around the world. In fact, Jay was still peacefully floating in his mother’s womb when that fatal day in 1959 came to take the life of his vital and well-known father. Young Jay never laughed with his father, never touched his dad’s face, never learned to ride a bike by his dad’s side and were it not for the heavily thumbed and faded photographs his family all so cherished, young Jay wouldn’t even know what his father looked like.

Unless… unless he looked in the mirror. Yes, that face he wore, he has been told, is the spitting image of his father’s. The thought likely always warmed Jay’s heart.

He may not have known his father in person, but Jay was always fascinated by his father’s legacy and felt close to him despite the distance between them. Jay spent those fifty years of his life studying his father, talking to the many admirers who knew him, writing of him, and traveling the country to keep his father’s memory alive. Even emulating what he knew of the man whose hand he never held, a man with whom he was never able to toss around a football, a man who missed being able to beam with pride at the many successes of a boy he would never know.

Even as the boy who carries his father’s name and face did or not, many people did know Jay’s father. And they loved him. You see, back in his day Jay’s father was a great entertainer in the early days of broadcasting and one of the many innovators who helped popularize Rock-N-Roll. He was a songwriter, a promoter, and entertainer, a man with a big heart and an energetic style. He was only 28 years old when he died, but already he was amassing what he had hoped would become a great music empire.

Jay’s father had written Rock and Country tunes and there was always the radio. Jay’s father loved his work as a radio Dee-Jay. He was well loved for that work, too, as everyone knew his rambunctious voice near his home in Texas. The elder Richardson was even one of the first, perhaps even the first, to imagine the concept of the music video. He even used the term himself in what may be its earliest known usage.

But then came that fatal day in 1959 that all too soon cut short what might have become the career of an innovator we’d all know by name today. Sadly, his name now is not on the tip of everyone’s tongue, though his nickname might be more familiar to music buffs everywhere.

That was over half a century ago. Since then, young Jay, son of this tragic figure, spent his life only dreaming of catching a mere glimpse of the man he so yearned to know. To Jay, it may have seemed like his father was more a dream than a real person. But Jay learned his father’s music, discovered a treasure trove of tunes written but never finished, and then played them for enthusiastic fans. And Jay soldiered on lo these 50 some years trying to keep the memory of his father alive.

And it has been a fruitful effort, though perhaps not as successful as young Jay would want. Still, the folks of Beaumont, Texas were appreciative of the father’s legacy and the son’s work. Back in 2009 they even asked son Jay if they might raise a monument in his father’s honor to further celebrate his memory?

However, there was a problem. The cemetery where his father and mother were interred told the family they had rules against large monuments. Jay decided to exhume his father to rebury him somewhere else so the monument might be built.

But there was one other thing that might be done during this exhumation. It seems that in the five decades since the elder’s death, some crazy conspiracy theories had been spun about how the man really died. So, Jay also hired a forensics expert to reassert the cause of death to dispel all those crazy rumors swirling about his father’s death for so many years.

So, in due course the casket was raised and then the time came to open the aging box… and Jay was there. He was a bit afraid of how he might react. Would he be disgusted, afraid, happy, sad? He was told to prepare for little else but clumps of moldy clothing and dry bones. So, not knowing how he’d react, Jay girded himself for the opening of the casket. But as that creaky lid was pried open there lay Jay’s father looking much as he did in life, almost perfectly preserved through the embalmer’s art.

On nearly the fiftieth anniversary of his father’s death, here was Jay Richardson finally getting to see his father. Amazingly, for the first time in his 50 years of life, the admiring son got to gaze upon the actual face of his famous father. Imagine this amazing opportunity? A man who spent his entire life chasing a father he was never able to even look at one time was at long last able to catch a glimpse of the face of the man he so longed to know. It was a singular wish finally fulfilled by a series of crazy circumstances and nothing else. Just luck. And Jay was gratified.

Now, we all remember the line written about the fatal plane crash that took from us Jay’s father along with two of his musician friends: “I can’t remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride. Something touched me deep inside, the day the music died.”

After a 50 year wait, the boy finally met his father, Jiles Perry Richardson, nicknamed “The Big Bopper,” killed on that fateful day, February 3, 1959 as the plane in which he was a passenger fell to the earth in a binding snowstorm taking with it the lives of rock-n-roll legends Jiles “The Big Bopper” Richardson, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

It was just a plane crash, simply put. Jay’s father, “The Big Bopper,” was killed instantly on impact, as the official story 50 years ago presumed. It may have been but a plane crash, but it indeed was the day the music died.

Rest in Peace:

Jiles Perry “The Big Bopper” Richardson, Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959)

Charles Hardin Holley, known professionally as Buddy Holly (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959)

Richard Steven Valenzuela, known professionally as Ritchie Valens (May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959)

For a deeper history on the accident and the folks lost that day, see Jeff Dunetz’ post on The Day The Music Died.
_____________________
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Follow Warner Todd Huston on:
Twitter
Facebook
Tumblr

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as Constitution.com, CanadaFreePress.com, BizPac Review, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.


NOTE: If you want to comment, for some reason our Facebook comments section takes a bit of time to load. It’ll pop up soon. Thanks

Comments

comments


Fair Use: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research, educational, or satirical purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site/blog for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

We use Facebook comments, but they can sometimes take quite a while to load. So, be patient. Thanks.

Social Networking


Help the Soldiers!



American Genius

Our Founding Ideas

"Governments are instituted among men,deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776





Enter your Email


Preview
Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a reader




Recently Written

  • Illinois Democrat Sponsors Bill to Kill all White Puppies in State Because They Have White Privilege
  • A Reply to ESPN’s Jim Brady on the Network’s Liberal Bias Problem
  • Hell Hath No Fury Like A Democrat Party Scorned
  • Kim Kardashian Wants America’s Guns Banned, But Not For Her Bodyguards
  • Remembering D-Day, June 6, 1944
  • D-Day Anniversary: For Remembering D-Day With Ike and Reagan
  • Ike’s D-Day Letter to the Troops, June 6, 1944
  • Video Shows CNN’s Becky Anderson Appearing to Stage a Muslim ‘Protest’ Against London Terror Attacks
  • Michigan City Bans Farmer from Farmers Market Because He Opposes Same Sex Marriage
  • Political Bias or Sloppiness?


  • What THEY Say:
    Foreign News In English




    Click HERE for information
    on my fedora collection.
    Antique Stetsons, hat history...



























    Contact Us

    Email Publius' Forum

    Archives

  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • June 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • October 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005
  • January 2005



  • Add to Technorati Favorites


    Clicky Web Analytics