Thursday, April 10, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Big Bopper
Artist:The Big Bopper
Album:Hellooo Baby!:The Best Of The Big Bopper 1954-1959
The 1958 novelty song Chantilly Lace was the only hit for JP Richardson AKA The Big Bopper. Of course he is best known as one of three stars to die in that tragic 1959 airplane crash. He was born Oct. 24, 1930 in Sabine Pass, TX and grew up in Beaumont. He worked part time as a DJ at KTRM in Beaumont while studying pre-law at Lamar College. He left school to work in radio full time in 1949. He was drafted into the Army in 1955 and after being discharged, he returned to KTRM in 1957. When he was moved to a new time slot, he came up with the name The Big Bopper after watching kids do a dance called The Bop. Richardson played guitar and started writing songs. He got the attention of Mercury Records promotion man Harold "Pappy" Daily. The Big Bopper wrote & recorded Chantilly Lace for Daily and he sold it to Mercury. It reached #6 on the pop charts. The song is a lot of fun and still very well remembered today. I dunno about this Rhino comp. I think most folks would prefer the song on a various artists comp. The Big Bopper took time off from KTRM to tour with Buddy Holly & Richie Valens and died in the plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959 at age 28. The story is The Big Bopper wasn't feeling well and Buddy Holly guitarist Waylon Jennings gave him his seat on the plane. It's likely that The Big Bopper would have returned to radio after the tour. He was a novelty act and there's usually not a long term future for that sort of act. But his songs started becoming hits for others. George Jones had a hit with White Lightning and so did Johnny Preston with Running Bear. That was the likely direction of his musical career. Too bad he never got to do that. Here's The Big Bopper performing Chantilly Lace on American Bandstand 1958.