Buddy Holly's Glasses Were Found In Iowa 21 Years After His Death

By | February 26, 2020

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Buddy Holly's glasses are now on display in Lubbock. (en.wikipedia.org)

In the wee hours of the morning on February 3, 1959, an airplane carrying three of the hottest entertainers of the day crashed into a snowy cornfield just outside Clear Lake, Iowa. The Beechcraft Bonanza, piloted by Roger Patterson, slammed into the ground so hard that all three passengers—Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens—as well as the pilot were killed on impact. The force was so powerful that debris and wreckage was scattered over a 300-yard area, and some items weren't recovered until after the spring thaw. That included Buddy Holly's glasses, which were quickly lost again until they were found 21 years later. Let's look at this iconic pair of lost and found glasses, the role they played in the making of Buddy Holly, and what happened the day the music died. 

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The day the music died: The plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. (independent.co.uk)

Buddy Holly's Eyes

Born Charles Hardin Holley in 1936, Buddy Holly grew up in a musical family. The Lubbock, Texas native learned to play the guitar as a child and loved to sing country, gospel, and the blues, but by the time he reached adolescence, a new style of music had emerged. He formed his first rock and roll act with some friends from high school and played gigs across Texas, but he had a secret that he didn't want his growing legion of fans to know: He had terrible eyesight. Those eye charts in optometrists' offices? He couldn't even read the top line. He needed outrageously thick glasses to make out even the crudest shapes, but he was afraid the nerdy eyewear would cramp the band's style, so he often performed without them.