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The Big Bopper - 8 Great Tracks

17 February 2012















Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959) also commonly known as The Big Bopper, was an American disc jockey, singer, and songwriter whose big voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his recording of "Chantilly Lace". On February 3, 1959, a day that has become known as The Day the Music Died (from Don McLean's song "American Pie"), Richardson was killed in a plane crash in Iowa, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. Richardson — who played guitar — began his musical career as a songwriter. George Jones later recorded Richardson's "White Lightning", which became Jones' first #1 country hit in 1959 (#73 on the pop charts). Richardson also wrote "Running Bear" for Johnny Preston, his friend from Port Arthur, Texas. The inspiration for the song came from Richardson's childhood memory of the Sabine River, where he heard stories about Indian tribes. Richardson sang background on "Running Bear", but the recording wasn't released until September 1959, after his death. Within several months it became #1.
The man who launched Richardson as a recording artist was Harold "Pappy" Daily from Houston, Texas. Daily was promotion director for Mercury and Starday Records and signed Richardson to Mercury. Richardson's first single, "Beggar To A King", had a country flavor, but failed to gain any chart action. He soon cut "Chantilly Lace" as "The Big Bopper" for Pappy Daily's D label. Mercury bought the recording and released it in the summer of 1958. It reached #6 on the pop charts and spent 22 weeks in the national Top 40. It also inspired an answer record by Jayne Mansfield titled "That Makes It". In "Chantilly Lace", Richardson pretends to have a flirting phone conversation with his girlfriend; the Mansfield record suggests what his girlfriend might have been saying at the other end of the line. Later that year, he scored a second hit, a raucous novelty tune entitled "The Big Bopper's Wedding", in which Richardson pretends to be getting cold feet at the altar. He was known for his "Hello baby!" The Song Chantilly Lace Heard Here Taken from Dick Clark Show 1958 (September 20 or November 22) another Great Legend.

The Big Bopper
Birth nameJiles Perry Richardson, Jr.
BornOctober 24, 1930
Sabine PassTexas
U.S.
DiedFebruary 3, 1959 (aged 28)
Grant TownshipIowa, U.S.
GenresRock and rollrockabilly,country
OccupationsMusiciansongwriter
InstrumentsVocalsguitar
Years active1954–59
LabelsMercury Records

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