Tommy Allsup was part of Holly ‘s band when the Lubbock, Texas, singer died in the Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash near clear Lake, Iowa . A memorial depicting musician Buddy Holly ‘s glasses stands at the edge of a white field near the spot where the plane carrying Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “ The Big Bopper ” Richardson crashed near clean Lake, Iowa, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. AP Allsup flipped a coin to see who between him and Valens would get a seat on the plane and who would have to take the bus topology to the following stop on the enlistment. holly, Valens and Richardson died with 21-year-old pilot Roger Peterson when the plane crashed in the Iowa countryside in snow-white conditions. The three rockers ‘ deaths were immortalized in Don McLean ‘s 1971 song “ American Pie, ” and became known as “ the day the music died. ” Austin Allsup, of Fort Worth, said that his father took losing the coin flip as “ a bless ” and that he was humbled to be connected to “ such a monumental moment in music history. ” “ I know my dad has talked about that many times and knew that he was very lucky to be here. It could have been the other way around, ” Austin Allsup, 32, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday. In a 1987 interview with the AP, Tommy Allsup, who was born in Owasso, Oklahoma, recalled flipping the coin offstage after playing a concert . This Jan. 9, 2009 photograph shows a poster showing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “ The Big Bopper ” Richardson hangs on a wall in the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, where the rock pioneers gave their last performance. Charlie Neibergall / ASSOCIATED PRESS “ A couple of people were standing there, ” he said. “ I flipped it. ( Valens ) called ‘heads. ‘ He got his thrust off the bus. ”
Another entertainer who was left off the plane was country music star topology Waylon Jennings, who was besides playing with Holly ‘s ring at the time. Jennings died in 2002. Austin Allsup, who stopping point year competed in the whistle rival television receiver program “ The Voice, ” said Valens ‘ sister reached out to him after his father ‘s death to offer her condolences. “ I told her in my message back, now my dad and Ritchie can finally finish the enlistment they started 58 years ago, ” he said. After Holly ‘s death, Tommy Allsup worked both as a guitarist and a record manufacturer. He produced records for Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel . Flowers adorn a memorial, Friday, Jan. 9, 2009, at the spotlight where the airplane carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “ The Big Bopper ” Richardson crashed killing all aboard, Feb. 3, 1959, near clear Lake, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall / ASSOCIATED PRESS He was besides inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Austin Allsup said his founder hush continued to perform as a musician and toured Europe stopping point year.
“ I know he was highly gallant of his family. … I think he knew he was identical blessed to live the life that he lived, ” Austin Allsup said. Funeral services for Tommy Allsup will be held future Wednesday in Owasso, Oklahoma, his son said .