J. P. "BIG BOPPER" RICHARDSON - CONTRACT SIGNED 12/11/1958 - HFSID 350537
Sale Price $3,825.00
THE BIG BOPPER: JILES PERRY RICHARDSON, JR.
The Big Bopper transfers his 'Big Love' rights, displayed with an ultra-rare first press version of 'Chantilly Lace'.
Document signed "J. P. Richardson", two pages, 8½ x 13¾, December 11, 1958. Agreement between Richardson and the Big Bopper Music Company for the transfer of the rights, titles, and interest to the unpublished original song 'Big Love.' Richardson will receive three cents per copy of regular piano copies or orchestration sold in the US, 50% of the licensing, 50% of the record sales in the US and Canada, and 50% earned for public performances.
Jiles Perry Richardson (1930-1959) was a Texas disc jockey who called himself "The Big Bopper" after the latest dance craze, the bop. His song, "Chantilly Lace", which he wrote and sang, reached the "Top Ten" in 1958. In January 1959, The Big Bopper was booked on the Winter Dance Party tour that would cover most of the Midwest. The tour included such headliners as Buddy Holly, Dion and the Belmonts, Waylon Jennings and Ritchie Valens. As the bus pulled into Clear Lake, Iowa for their February 2nd performance, Holly made arrangements to charter a plane to fly him and two of his band members to the next gig in Fargo, North Dakota. The Big Bopper and Valens had bad colds and Richardson wanted to fly to Fargo so that he would have time to see a doctor. He asked Waylon Jennings if he would give up his seat and Jennings agreed. Valens asked backup musician and former Cricket Tommy Allsup for his seat, and the two decided to flip a coin to see who would take the plane (Valens called "heads" and won the toss). Allsup later opened a club named The Head's Up Saloon, a tribute to the coin toss that saved his life. The plane took off from the airport at around 1:00 a.m. on February 3, 1959. It made it into the dark snowy night but plummeted to the ground about five miles from the airport. There were no survivors. The shock felt throughout the music world at this tragic loss is echoed in Don McLean's song, "American Pie", as "the day the music died".
Signed on the second page by Richardson and signed by William G. Hall as representative for the Big Bopper Music Company. Just a month later, the 'Bopper' would embark on the 1959 Winter Dance Party. Also include is a copy of the ultra-rare first press version of 'Chantilly Lace' on the little known "D" label out of Dallas, Texas. Punch and staple holes at top, as well as a light paperclip impression at top edge, expected folds, and some mild toning to right edge of both sheets. ¼ inch paper loss at lower right corner of second page. Fine condition. Minor chip at lower front area of frame. Framed to an overall size of 24½ x 29¼.
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