The Winter Dance Party
The Winter Dance Party was the infamous, ill-fated tour through the mid-west in the dead of winter featuring Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper (among others). Waylon Jennings was a member of the Buddy Holly band (note Waylon was not a member of the Crickets) during the tour. Before their performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered a four-seat Beechcraft Bonanza airplane from Dwyer Flying Service in Mason City, Iowa, for himself, Jennings, and Tommy Allsup, to avoid the long bus trip to their next venue in Moorhead, Minnesota. Following the Clear Lake show (which ended around midnight), Allsup lost a coin toss and gave up his seat on the charter plane to Ritchie Valens, while Jennings voluntarily gave up his seat to J. P. Richardson, known as The Big Bopper, who was suffering from the flu and complaining about how cold and uncomfortable the tour bus was for a man of his size.
When Holly learned that his bandmates had given up their seats on the plane and had chosen to take the bus rather than fly, a friendly banter between Holly and Jennings ensued: Holly jokingly told Jennings, “Well, I hope your ol’ bus freezes up!” Jennings jokingly replied, “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes!” Less than an hour and a half later, shortly after 1:00 am on February 3, 1959, Holly’s charter plane crashed at full throttle into a cornfield outside Mason City, instantly killing all on board.
Those words, uttered in jest, haunted Jennings for decades to come.
Final Resting Place:
1212 N. Center Street
Mesa, Arizona, 85201
Grave Location:Plot 766
Grave Location Description
As you enter the cemetery you will find, in order, streets 1 through 12 and running perpendicular streets A, B, C and D. Look for the intersection of 9th Street and “B” Street and walk along 9th Street and look in the 4th row from the road and south of “B” Street behind the 6th tree.
Grave Location GPS33.438100333, -111.8357513822
Visiting The Grave:
Read More About Waylon Jennings:
- Published Obituary
- Wikipedia Entry
- Country Music Hall of Fame - Waylon Jennings
- Waylon Recalls the Final Moments With Buddy Holly
- A visit to the grave of Waylon Jennings
- On Waylon Jennings' birthday, 9 things to remember about the outlaw
- Waylon Jennings Family Member Responds to Luke Bryan’s Comments
- Waylon Gets a Rousing Send-Off by Nashville
Videos Featuring Waylon Jennings:
Booker Little Jr.
popular name: Booker Little Jr.
date_of_death: October 5, 1961
cause_of_death: Complications from uremia caused by kidney failure
best_know_for: When he died suddenly at the age of 23 he was one of the most promising jazz trumpeters working with Max Roach, Eric Dolpy and John Coltrane
popular name: Big Maybelle
date_of_death: January 23, 1972
cause_of_death: Diabetic coma
best_know_for: Her impressive stature matching the sheer soulful power of her massive vocal talent, Big Maybelle was one of the premier R&B chanteuses of the 1950s. Her deep, gravelly voice was as singular as her recorded output for Okeh and Savoy, which ranged from juke joint blues to pop-infused ballads.
popular name: Leroy Carr
date_of_death: April 29, 1935
cause_of_death: Complications of nephritis due to alcoholism
best_know_for: Leroy Carr, together with Scrapper Blackwell are arguably the two most underrated blues musicians of the 1920s and 1930s. What is undeniable is the two together created some of the most recorded blues classics including How Long, How Long Blues, Mean Mistreater Mama and When the Sun Goes Down