It's been 48 years since Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in North Dakota. Plane crashes are one of those things where there's always a story about who could have been on the plane and who wasn't supposed to be on the plane. An event like a Run Lola Run moment where going back and having one little thing change causes the whole situation to change in the future. Waylon Jennings was supposed to be on the plane instead of The Big Bopper and Dion of Dion and the Belmonts was also offered a place on the plane. In his memoirs, Waylon recalls the conversation that happened after he gave up his seat. He and Buddy were razzing each other about having to take the bus. Buddy said something to the effect of hoping the bus breaks down and Waylon replied that he hoped the plane crashes. The type of joke friends share all the time, but it haunted Waylon for some time. No one can say for sure what would be different had the plane not crashed and killed these musicians, but you have to concede that the music world would be different. Buddy Holly was easily one of the great talents in his generation and with his life cut short at 22, it's hard to imagine where his career would have gone. He was already on a similar career path as Elvis. His music was influential to the Beatles the Stones and the Beach Boys, and Paul McCartney even owns the publishing rights to Buddy Holly's music.
Richie Valenzuela (Valens), was pioneering the music world too. Seventeen at the time of the crash, he had already began to blaze a path for other Latino rock and roll. Although he might be more well known for La Bamba, Donna and a Lou Diamond Phillips movie, studio outtakes as well as his produced music show clearly that he was a phenomenally gifted guitar player.
Something in the music did die on February 3, 1959, but the legacy continued despite the tragedy.