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The single-engine plane carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens crashed in an Iowa corn field the night before they were to appear at the Moorhead Armory. Special to The Forum

Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens died 50 years ago today

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It drew the first tears of rock 'n' roll, a culture so young death was new.

Fifty years ago this morning, Buddy Holly, J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson and Ritchie Valens died when the tiny plane they chartered to Fargo from Iowa slammed into the ground five minutes after takeoff, killing all three and the young pilot.

Helping to fill in for the fallen at the Moorhead Armory that night was Fargo 15-year-old Bobby Vee and his band, The Shadows.

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