Faith & Insight: Music that refused to die

Ken Haskins

Ken Haskins

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It was the worst of times for the rock and roll industry. The year was 1959. The self-styled architect of rock and roll, Little Richard, was in the middle of a five-year sabbatical from rock and roll, singing only gospel music.

Elvis was serving Uncle Sam in the U.S. Army. Jerry Lee Lewis had married his 13-year-old cousin, burning up his career like a great ball of fire. On Dec. 23, Chuck Berry was arrested under the Mann Act. Congressional investigations targeted rock and roll deejay, Alan Freed, for payola.

Eddie Cochran would die in an auto accident on April 17. Gene Vincent would be seriously injured in the same tragic wreck. The most tragic event of 1959, however, occurred early on the morning of Feb. 3.

A small plane crashed in a frozen cornfield in Iowa, claiming the lives of 21-year-old pilot, Roger Peterson, and rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. That day seemed to be the beginning of the end for many rock and roll fans.

Don McLean referred to it as “the day the music died.” It must’ve seemed like it at the time. Feb. 3 marks the 65th anniversary of the horrific plane crash. Ritchie, Buddy and the Bopper are gone, but their music did not die.

Their music lives and is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. These stars were part of something bigger than themselves and their body of work is their legacy. When called home, what will your legacy be? Have you let your light shine?

Will people remember your good deeds and glorify our heavenly father? Will you leave a legacy of faith as Lois and Eunice did to Timothy? After 65 years, will people still be singing your song? May it “not fade away.”

Ken Haskins is head pastor at First Christian Church in Carson City.


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