The Day The Music Died

I recently re-watched The Buddy Holly Story and usually afterwards one sees deeper into the movie and one’s Self. What stood out in seeing this movie again was Buddy’s demand that he be given creative control over his music’s production – he stood up to “Corporate Hollywood,” long before Occupy Wall Street or Bernie Sander’s Matrix Generation. He was a path-setter in challenging the control exercised by Hollywood’s recording industry. When the band went to play its first gig at New York’s Apollo Theater, the owner thought they were a back band testifying to the uniqueness of their music. Buddy and the Crickets’ performance immediately won over Apollo’s black audience and they became friends with the black musicians they toured with – this was years ahead of the civil rights movement.

A few days later on January 28, 2016 The High Plains Reader published Rock’n Roll Music and You, which is an interview with Robby Vee, Bobby’s son on “why the early days of rock’n roll music still captivates us.” The questions Robby was asked were: what is so appealing about this time, why do you think February 3, 1959 hit America so hard, has your dad talk about that “fateful night”, and about Fargo’s rock’n roll subculture? Re-watching the movie brought new insight to these questions and some tears remembering that the music lost, was the music FCHS ‘62 rocked to.

Winter Dance Party Tribute 3rd February 1959

The day the music died is like remembering where you were on the day John Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot or the day John Glenn landed on the Moon. I have searched my memory and cannot remember the day the music died, however, I bet Kenny Pier, Marc Wroe, and Dick Knutson remember since they seem the most likely to have had tickets to that Winter Dance Party. Ground Control to Majors Ken, Marc, Dick and David come in – can you hear us? What do you remember about the day the music died?

In regards to the Fargo’s 1950-60s subculture, I think Julie Dunkirk and David Stillman with older brothers Dick and Jimmy deeply into that subculture must have some interesting stories. On my way to Agassiz Jr. High School, I stopped to pick up David and often listened to Jimmy practice drums in the basement. Many of us can also remember listening to The Shadows practice there. And of course how can one forget dancing to their music at the Crystal Ball Room and the DL Pavilion. This drum solo by Marc Wroe, Roamin Around, is wow!

The Furys Live Minor Chaos – Roamin Around

My first vivid memory of a Bobby Vee & The Shadows was in September 1959, sitting on the east side, half way up Fargo Central High School’s Auditorium, when I was nudged and pointed to someone walking in from the east side door and saying, “There he is, that is Bobby Vee.” I know sitting with me in the FCHS Auditorium were others that can still testify to this music because they were the music culture in Fargo at that time – Steve Wroe, Mike Coby, Dick Dunkirk, Ken Harvey, and others you will see named in one clip below. I found this clip on Youtube and it is precious – its description states: “Steve Wroe and Marc Wroe were the driving force behind the Furys in the early 60s. Take a moment to re-live this evening at the Fargo National Guard Armory.” Put your headphones on, sit back, relax, and “get-in-Fury-ated”.

The Furys Vocals


Steve Rowe & the Furys – Minor Chaos

Okay, I am now into the music the day IT died. Enjoy….

American Pie – Don McLean – Full Length 1989 Video from Original 1971/72 Song

The Day the Music Died: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper

Buddy Holly’s Greatest Hits Full Album – Best Songs Of Buddy Holly

Ritchie Valens – We belong together

The Big Bopper White Lightnin’

Bobby Vee & The Shadows / Flyin’ High / Lonely Love

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