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Risky Business

November 3, 2021

The music business is a risky business in so many ways. And yes, there is a Music Mafia; it’s real and not just the stuff of Hollywood movies. There are also the perils of unscrupulous people, financial failure and every sort of imaginable disaster. However, perhaps the most least thought of risk can actually be the largest risk to those in this industry: Air travel.

Most of us can remember one or two of our favorites who perished in plane accidents. Buddy Holly may come to mind the most. Here’s a large but only partial list of those in the music business that went down in planes:

Glenn Miller (1944)
Buddy Holly (1959)
Richie Valens (1959)
The Big Bopper – Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson, Jr. (1959)
Patsy Cline (1963)
Otis Redding (1967)
Jimmie King (1967)
Ronnie Caldwell (1967)
Phalon Jones (1967)
Carl Cunningham (1967)
Matthew Kelly (1967)
Jim Croce (1973)
Maury Meuhleisen (1973)
Morgan Tell (1973)
George Stevens – Comedian (1973)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and back-up singer Cassie Gaines (1977)
Ricky Nelson (1985)
Stevie Ray Vaughan (1990)
Bobby Brooks (1990)
Nigel Browne (1990)
Colin Smythe (1990)
Alecsander Alves – Mamonas Assassinas (1996)
Alberto Hinoto – Mamonas Assassinas (1996)
Samuel Reis de Oliveira – Mamonas Assassinas (1996)
Júlio César Barbosa – Mamonas Assassinas (1996)
Sérgio Reis de Oliveira – Mamonas Assassinas (1996)
Fanfarekorps Koninklijke Nederlandse Landmacht – 23 out of 37 members of the Royal Netherlands Army Fanfare (1996)
John Denver (1997)
“Aaliyah” Dana Haughton (2001)
Maria Serrano-Serrano – Passion Fruit (2001)
Nathaly van het Ende – Passion Fruit (2001)
Jenni Rivera (2012)

There are many risks in the music business. I know. I’ve been in the business for over 45 years. There is some sort of danger around every corner. However, not once have I ever accepted a ride in a small plane or helicopter…. just saying.

Photo: 1959 plane crash that killed Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

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From → America, History, Music

5 Comments
  1. It’s tragic, I think, and makes me wonder if there’s a reason behind all those crashes that could be identified and corrected.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been in a helicopter, but the idea of small planes gives me the willies! I know people who have been in crashes here in the Colorado mountains. One was lucky enough to survive.

    Liked by 2 people

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