I'm looking for...



Happening:
Anytime
to
Near:
Anywhere
That is
Anything

This Week in Texas Music History: The Big Bopper


by Stephen Becker 5 Feb 2010

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll remember a country music DJ who wrote one of the most recognizable hits of early rock ‘n’ roll.

CTA TBD

Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman remembers a country music DJ who wrote one of the most recognizable hits of early rock ‘n’ roll.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you.

And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.

  • Click the player to listen to the podcast:


  • Expanded online version:

J.P. Richardson, known as “The Big Bopper,” died in a plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, in Mason County Iowa, along with fellow musicians Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly. Richardson, who was born in Sabine Pass, Texas, on Oct. 24, 1930, started his career as a country music DJ. However, he became best known for writing such popular novelty songs as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Running Bear.” His biggest hit, which would become a rock ‘n’ roll classic, was the 1958 song “Chantilly Lace.” Richardson’s growing popularity landed him a spot alongside Holly on the ill-fated 1959 “Winter Dance Party” tour. The Big Bopper’s career may have been brief, but his impact on rock ‘n’ roll can still be felt, as a variety of artists continue to perform and record his songs.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a performer who blended a variety of ethnic influences to help forge modern Tejano music.

SHARE