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"If you believe in forever, then life is just a one night stand...if there's a rock & roll heaven, then you know they got a hell of a band." This is a small tribute to some of those rock & roll artists that are no longer with us but their music will be with us always.

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The King Is Dead.

This was the headline when the undisputed King of Rock 'n' Roll  was found unconscious in the bathroom of Graceland, his Memphis  mansion. Between 1956 and 1977, Elvis received three Grammy Awards, three RIAA Platinum Record Awards, thirty-five RIAA Gold Record Awards, and had a total of one hundred and six Top 40 hits. He also appeared in thirty-three films.

After his divorce from his wife, Pricilla, in 1973, Presley's career started to go downhill. He constantly worried about his image and started dieting and taking pills to lose weight. Bad habits that he had developed early in his career were difficult to change. Staying up all night and sleeping all day gave his life no real pattern or structure. Elvis was found unconscious on his bathroom floor by his girlfriend, Ginger Alden. It was later disclosed he had been lying there for about three hours before Alden discovered him. Help was summoned, but all attempts to revive him were futile. His personal physician, Dr. George
Nichopoulos, pronounced him dead at three-thirty P.M. on August 16, 1977, at a Memphis hospital.

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Elvis Presley

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trio.jpg (23563 bytes)  The Day The Music Died

The tragic news that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and "The Big Bopper" (J P Richardson) had been killed in a plane crash in America's Midwest, on the 3rd of February 1959, not only stunned millions of fans around the world, but left a vacuum in rock 'n'roll history that has never been filled.

All three were at the peak of their popularity and together had sold over 10 million records in just over 12 months. Of the three, Buddy Holly's loss was felt the deepest He was the brightest new star since Elvis and his potential was unlimited. He had achieved 10 hits in America and Britain and his influence was beginning to be felt throughout the Pop world.

realaud.gif (1671 bytes) The Day The Music Died (113kb)
realaud.gif (1671 bytes) Buddy Holly (293kb) "Maybe Baby"
realaud.gif (1671 bytes) Ritchie Valens (172kb) "LaBamba"
realaud.gif (1671 bytes) The Big Bopper (345kb) "Chantilly Lace"

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Their last tour being the Winter Dance Party of 1959. The tour was scheduled to play in remote locations throughout midwest United States, and the Midwest was suffering a harsh winter. hollyposter.jpg (21853 bytes) The bus provided to the musicians had engine problems and no heating system. For this last reason Richardson had caught the flu. When the tour rolled into Clear Lake Iowa, Buddy Holly chartered a plane to fly his band to the next gig. Richardson approached Buddy's bassist, Waylon Jennings, and asked for Jennings seat on the plane, so that he could get some rest and a doctors appointment. Waylon agreed and gave his seat to him.  The plane took off from Mason City Airport around 1:00 the morning of February 3rd, 1959, and crashed 8 miles after takeoff, killing The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the pilot Roger Peterson. The wreckage was spotted at approximately 9.35a.m. when a worried Dwyer (the plane's owner) decided to investigate, after not having heard from the airport of destination.

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Bill Haley

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If ever there was an anthem to rock and roll it was the song ("We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" performed by Billy Haley and His Comets. The songs powerful refrain and driving beat ushered in a new style for a new era in popular music. Yes, rock and roll was here to stay!

In 1955, Haley recorded the landmark song, which held down the Number One spot for eight weeks and went on to sell 45 million copies worldwide. After signing a record contract with Decca, the group recorded "Shake, Rattle and Roll", "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock."  and "See You Later Alligator".

Bill Haley died from a heart attack at his home in Harlingen, Texas on February 9, 1981. He was only 55 years old. Stories emerged shortly after his death that he had died penniless, however those stories were never confirmed.  

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Roy Orbison

After a short career as a rockabilly on Sun Records in the '50s Orbison developed an almost operatic style that blended blues-rock with string-laden arrangement and falsetto vocals. "Only the Lonely," "Running Scared" and "Crying" mined paranoia and romance for their material; "(Oh) Pretty Woman" and "Mean Woman Blues" have become bar-band standards.
realaud.gif (1671 bytes) (308kb) "Crying"

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On Monday 30 December 1985, following a performance in Guntersville, Alabama (where Rick's last number was Buddy Holly's 'Rave On'), Rick, his fiancée, Helen Blair, and five members of The Stone Canyon Band boarded a charter plane to fly to their next venue in Dallas. The plane, once owned by Jerry Lee Lewis, was not in very good condition. After take-off, the pilot radioed that smoke was seeping into the cockpit. He attempted an emergency landing on a highway and all seemed well when the plane landed intact. But it burst into flames on the ground, killing all seven passengers.

A memorial service was held at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in California, and a show featuring Rick, Fats Domino, Johnny Cash, Jerry lee Lewis and Roy Orbison, which had been recorded before his death, was aired on American television as a tribute to Rick.  

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Rick Nelson

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realaud.gif (1671 bytes) (164kb) "Garden Party"


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IMPORTANT NOTE: All above songs have been placed here purely for entertainment and educational purposes only, without any commercial interest whatsoever or profit of any kind. Its sole purpose is presenting  a tribute to the artists.  All titles are copyrighted by their respective artists and record companies.