Today in history... Buddy Holly's plane crashes

On this day, in 1959, rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly died in a plane crash along with fellow stars Ritchie Valens and JP 'The Big Bopper' Richardson.

Their plane went near Clear Lake, Iowa, while the trio were in the middle of a three-week tour across the American Midwest.

Holly's success lasted for barely a year and a half before his death, but his legacy remains.

Critic Bruce Eder since described him as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll."

Buddy Holly's Omega wristwatch ($155,350)

And this is certainly borne out by the list of artists influenced by him: including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.

Holly's influence has also been felt on the auction block.

Big auction sales include a diamond and white gold Omega wristwatch, inscribed "Buddy Holly 12-1-58" on the back, given to him as an early Christmas present by his wife.

Recovered from the site of the plane crash by investigators, and later worn by Holly's father in Lubbock, Texas, it brought a final hammer price of $155,350 at Heritage Auction Galleries in 2006.

Also at Heritage, a Buddy Holly passport - issued under his real name of Charles Hardin Holly on January 23, 1958 - went under the hammer, signed twice by the star in his real name.

The star's passport, under his real name of Charles Hardin Holly ($26,290)

The passport was obtained by Holly just before he and his band the Crickets embarked on their legendary UK tour. It is stamped with visits to England and Australia, all dated 1958.

This singular and historic piece of music memorabilia sold for $26,290.

Unfortunately, Buddy Holly isn't the only music legend to have his life claimed by a plane crash. Another is the soul legend Otis Redding - aka The King of Soul.

As befits his legacy, Redding memorabilia is also highly sought-after. A signed copy of Pain In My Heart, his legendary 1964 LP is currently available on the market priced £2,500 ($4,125).


Images: Heritage Auction Galleries

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