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Celebrating the musical life on John’s Porch

Buddy Holly and Dolly Pardon
Images: Public Domain and Attribution 2.0 Generic

I hope you will join me for John’s Porch this Saturday and Sunday, February 4th and 5th, from ten until noon as we have a couple of great shows lined up! On Saturday there’s a Dolly Parton set of some of her best work (not necessarily the big hits), some blues, some Americana, some tough ladies, more Virginia artists and more.

On Sunday, we remember what Don McLean sang in “American Pie” “The day the music died.” That day was February 3, 1959. The story goes that the trio, along with Dion And The Belmonts were on a winter tour of the Midwest in rickety buses that had little or no heat and the artists were constantly battling the cold and a flu bug that was rampant. When Buddy Holly decided he had had enough, he chartered a plane to fly him and two others to their next destination, Moorhead, Minnesota.

Valens won his spot on the plane from a coin toss while Richardson was given his seat from Waylon Jennings, who, at that time, was a member of Holly’s band. Soon after takeoff, late at night, and in terrible winter conditions, Roger Peterson, the pilot, lost control of the light airplane and the group crashed into a cornfield and all tragically lost their lives.

Holly was 22 years old, Valens 17, and Richardson was the old man of the group at 28. There’s no telling what the three would have accomplished with a longer life. When we remember these three, we need to remember all they did to change the musical scene and celebrate their lives. I’ve got a song for Richardson, one for Valens, and three for Holly.

Even though we lost three great performers, I beg to differ that this was “the day the music died.” Their music has lived on and some of the techniques that Holly pioneered are still being used today. The music will never die, it won’t be silenced even if it suffers a great loss.

Enough of my soapbox, we’ve also got Jackson Browne, Eric Clapton. The Crickets and more!

To say I am humbled and gratified to be doing this show would be an understatement. I look forward to our time together on Saturday and Sunday and do my best every week to find good music and entertain you. So far, the results have been good and I am genuinely touched by those who have reached out to say they enjoy the show.

If you haven’t yet discovered John’s Porch, we would love to have your company one day, or both if you can swing it. Each show is different, and we try to play a mix of rock, blues, country, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, world music, and just about anything that makes you happy.

You can find us Saturday and Sunday from ten until noon. We’re taking over the weekend with different shows for each day. I hope you will join me, and bring along your friends, as we continue to explore familiar and new artists of all stripes. We’re on VPM Music 93.1 and 107.3 and online at