Waylon Jennings Gives Up His Seat On The Plane 56 Years Ago Today – The Day The Music Died
Waylon Jennings maintained till his dying day that he was the one who gave up his seat on the plane that crashed killing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson, "The Big Bopper." That plane crash, known as "The Day The Music Died," was 56 years ago today.
There is, of course, the matter of the infamous coin toss that took place before the plane departed. Some reports state the coin toss involved Waylon and Ritchie Valens. Other reports state the coin toss was between Valens and Tommy Allsup. In any event, the entire event has received the Hollywood treatment, and the facts are now distorted.
Dion Dimucci, from the group Dion and the Belmonts, who also performed at the concert that evening, maintains he won a coin toss with Ritchie Valens, but gave up the seat because he didn't want to pay the $36. Tommy Allsup says this all a bunch of garbage, and challenged DiMucci to a polygraph test.
Frankie Avianca, also known as Frankie Sardo, was also on stage that night. He agreed with Allsup's version of events. He said the following to the Globe Gazzette.
I was standing right next to Waylon all through his conversation with J.P. 'The Big Bopper' and the famous flip. I was still standing with Waylon when he told Buddy that he lost his seat to J.P." - Frankie Avianca