February 3 – Day the Music Died, Clavivox, Crocodile Rock

1959

The Day the Music Died: A plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa kills the pilot and rock performers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper.

Because their tour bus had a heater problem, the 3 chose to charter a plane to carry them to Fargo. The plane, flown by 21-year-old Roger Peterson, ran into bad weather.

The Surf Ballroom was recently named a historic landmark by the Rock HoF. BTW actor Gary Busey does a great job portraying Buddy in 1978 film The Buddy Holly Story.

That’ll Be the Day  La Bamba  Chantilly Lace 

1959


Clavivox

Fascinating character, US jingle composer, electronic music experimenter Raymond Scott (*) receives a patent (US#2871745) for a ‘keyboard operated electrical musical instrument’, the Clavivox.

It’s a keyboard synth with, e.g., an LFO, mechanical portamento, tremelo pitch and volume via footpedals, and attack control. Part of it is built by Robert Moog, who will build (and finish) his own synth (with no mechanicals) in 1964, taking advantage of the newfangled transistor.

Throughout the 50s, Scott also works on an instrument he calls the Electronium, a keyboard-less, automatic composition and performance machine. Impressed, Motown‘s Berry Gordy hires Scott to build one.

Electronium  Electronium restore  Ray Scott Quintette  Art Monad 144  Archives   ( Fansite

1973

Flambouyant English pop rocker, keyboardist, showman Elton John has his first US#1 hit with Crocodile Rock.

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock
While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
we were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock

Prominent in the song is a Farfisa organ. It’s the first single from UK#1 sixth studio album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player … the second of six US#1 albums in a row.  ( Website

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