Guitarist Who Avoided Buddy Holly Plane Crash Dies at 85 - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Guitarist Who Avoided Buddy Holly Plane Crash Dies at 85

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    Guitarist Who Avoided Buddy Holly Plane Crash Dies at 85
    February 3, 1959 was marked "The Day the Music Died" by Don McLean. Ritchie Valens, 17, Buddy Holly, 22, and The Big Bopper, 28, were on tour when they experienced trouble with their tour bus. They opted to take a small plane, which crashed in Iowa, killing the three music stars. Tommy Allsup was part of Holly's band at the time. Allsup flipped a coin to see if he or Valens would get a seat on the plane.

    Tommy Allsup, a guitarist best known for losing a coin toss that kept him off a plane that later crashed and killed rock 'n' roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson, has died. He was 85.

    Singer and musician Austin Allsup says his father died Wednesday at a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, due to complications from a hernia operation.

    Tommy Allsup was part of Holly's band when the Lubbock, Texas, singer died in the 1959 plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. Allsup flipped a coin to see if he or Valens would get a seat on the plane.

    Austin Allsup said Thursday his father took losing the coin toss as a blessing and "knew that he was very lucky to be here."

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