Buddy Holly’s Special Connection to the City He Was Flying to on That Fateful Day
It's ironic that I ended up in Lubbock, the birthplace of the legendary Buddy Holly. I grew up near Fargo, North Dakota -- the city he was flying to when his plane went down.
You can hear the stories about Buddy Holly everywhere you go in Fargo and its sister city on the other side of the river, Moorhead, Minnesota. Technically, Moorhead is where Buddy was supposed to be playing that night along with Ritchie Valens and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, who also died in the crash.
That day, a local kid named Bobby Vee was asked to fill in for Holly. I don't honestly know how many people really knew what happened with the plane crash at that point; the dance was not called off. Back then, there was no Internet (of course), and even though there might have be speculation that Holly had perished, the general public may not have known.
This gig really helped Bobby Vee launch his career. He was already a big fan of Holly and modeled his sound after him. Vee stayed around the area and had a massive influence on the regional sound in North Dakota, as did Buddy Holly.
When you talk to some of the old-timers, Holly's name always comes up as an influence. His death hit the area hard and they adopted him as one of their own.
Bobby Vee has always been very grateful to Buddy Holly, as you can see in his quotes found on Wikipedia:
For some time now, I have wanted to make an album in tribute to Buddy, but I wasn't sure it was the proper thing to do. However, during the past year, I have received many requests to do such an album. These requests came not only from my fans and from DJs, but also from Buddy's loyal following---still a large group of devoted fans. It.... gave me the confidence to do the album. From "Suzie Baby" to this present album, I have made many records, but I have never forgotten Buddy Holly and his influence on my singing style and my career.