Don McLean wrote in his classic music parable, American Pie, the plane crash resulted in "the day the music died."
I, Bob Dylan and other area youths packed the Duluth Armory on January 31, 1959 to take in the performances of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson, three of Rock and Roll’s most promising musicians of that era. “The Winter Dance Party Tour” began on January 23, 1959 with performances scheduled for 24 cities. The Duluth appearance took place three days before the tour tragically ended.
My friend, Lew Latto, was the producer and MC of the Armory show that also included Dion and the Belmonts. Lew was a precocious teen who became a popular disc jockey as a youth and continued on with a successful career in radio until his death in 2011. (The poster advertising this Armory event is above and on your left left.)
I've written about my recollections while attending that event in the past and you can read about it HERE. Also check out Zenith City Online HERE for more about that memorable event, some fun photos and some interesting comments from readers.