CLEAR LAKE - The author of a new book about Buddy Holly has challenged the owners of the plane in which Holly died to produce the wreckage.

Gary W. Moore, author of the book, "Hey Buddy," said Jerry and Barb Dwyer of Clear Lake should allow experts to look at the wreckage of the Beech Bonanza in order to finally quell rumors about how the crash happened.

The accident killed Holly, J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson and Ritchie Valens, on Feb. 3, 1959, following their appearance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Pilot Roger Peterson also died in the crash.

Moore writes that Barb Dwyer told him that the real truth about the crash will be revealed in a book Jerry Dwyer is writing about the crash.

When contacted, Barb Dwyer declined to discuss Moore's book or his recounting of their conversation, other than to say that Moore is just one of scores of authors who contact the Dwyers when writing books.

She confirmed that Jerry Dwyer was writing a book to clarify events related to that now-infamous night.

Moore will be on hand for book signings this weekend, during the annual Winter Dance Party event at Clear Lake.

During his own investigation, Moore - a pilot and former charter service owner - said he worked with a friend, a retired National Transportation Safety Board expert, to evaluate the crash.

Both he and his friend came to the same conclusion: An inexperienced pilot, a high-performance aircraft and bad weather combined to cause the crash, Moore said.

"But if Jerry knows something else ... if there is proof in the wreckage (of another cause), that's important" for Peterson's family to know, said Moore.

The final determination by the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1959 said the crash was caused by pilot error.

Moore challenges other long-held beliefs about Holly. For instance, he does not believe that Holly telephoned his wife, Maria Elena, before he left the Surf that night. A telephone booth at the Surf stands in memorial to that last conversation.

"I can't find anything that says that really happened," he said.

Moore's book is not a biography of Holly, but rather about his own journey to know Holly and his music.

Moore never knew much about the Texas rock ‘n roller until recent years, when he first saw Holly impersonator John Mueller perform. The book outlines his quest, his research and the relationships established with people who knew Holly's music, or had met Holly.

Of interest to some might be Moore's interview with musician Don McLean, whose mega-hit, "American Pie" introduced the phrase, "the day the music died" and its reference to Holly's death. McLean performed in 1994 at the Surf.

McLean claims, according to Moore, that Buddy Holly's fame faded quickly following his death, but that McLean's song brought Holly back into the public's consciousness.

"Because of 'American Pie,' Buddy is back where he should be," McLean was said to have told Moore.




(12) comments


The prevailing wisdom among area pilots is that Roger "lost his horizon" in the Bonanza, a hot plane with a temper. Under dark and stormy skies, the true horizon can disappear. Then the pilot must rely on the instruments, which may be telling him something his senses don't agree with. Under these conditions, the pilot flies nearly straight up, then stalls and flies straight into the ground. The tight ball of wreckage and short flight seem to point this way. But who knows what Jerry will reveal?

Todd Blodgett
Todd Blodgett

The sudden, night time snowstorm, a non-instrument-rated pilot, and a plane which exceeded its weight limit caused that plane crash. Jerry Dwyer is a good guy, and a nice man. I say leave him alone and wait to read HIS book, because that's the one that'll have what's closest to the REAL story about what actually HAPPENED.


This article makes it sound like Moore reached the same conclusions, but he didn’t. He and the NTSB person concluded something quite different so people should read the book to find out for themselves.


There were shots fired on that plane.

gina a

still hashing history, next it will obama's birth certicate. Todd slow day for sarah, no moose kills. tea party taking a day off.

gina a

where is my comment


What is the name of his book? I will wait for it to come out. Its sad that he has to cash in on the event and make money. I was there that night-I saw the plane the next morning-it was strung over a long ways.There are a lot of things said that were not true.

voice of sanity

I have the actual globe gazette newspaper from the morning of the crash. On page A2, the headline on the top of the page says, "the day the music died". I would love to know how Don Mclain gets credit for that quote, when he didnt come out with it until years later. Lets give credit where credit is due. Heres to you Globe reporters and editor.


Who cares what happend? A plane crashed and everyone died....this was an what if it was pilot error? If that is what they determine... what is it going to accomplish? Make the pilots family feel even worse? I would much rather know what happend to Pricess Dianna or Jim Morrison...


Thanks for mentioning our book Hey Buddy by Gary W. Moore. Hey Buddy is a look at how Gary "discovers" Buddy Holly's music and life, and pursues his legacy as seen and told through the eyes of people who knew him and have been influenced by his life.

You can read more about the book at Also check out the Event Calendar to see if Gary will be making a stop near you on his book tour. Our first Hey Buddy Quest book trailer is at


Good Lord...will the world be a different place if Buddy Holly really didn't call his wife? The 4 people on that plane haven't been able to rest in peace in 52 years! They're dead, no "truth revealing" book will change that. Let's move past the when, where, and how they died; and whether any of them used the bathroom or tied their shoes before boarding the plane...none of it matters. What matters is celebrating the gifts that they left behind and the fact that they lived in the first place.

Comment deleted.

I agree---I saw them the night they died--wonderful concert! Great memories! Let it lay--every one wants a piece of the pie$$

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