#76: Three Stars by Tommy Dee
Peak Month: May 1959
11 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX Chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ #11
Billboard Year-End chart 1959 ~ #81
YouTube.com: “Three Stars”
Tommy Donaldson was born in Vicker, Virgina, in 1934. In the late 50s he became a disc jockey at KFXM in San Bernardino, California. He was known on air as Tommy Dee. He was working at KFXM in San Bernardino and was on air on February 3, 1959. A breaking news story told that rock n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper had died in a small plane crash in rural Iowa. The day of the disaster, Dee began writing the song. He explained to writer Albert Leichter, “I was on the air, when it happened, the bells went crazy on the teletype, ‘what’s this!’ I started reading it. I wrote the song, right on the spot: poured my heart out. ‘No, it can’t be true. My friend, next door, had a little Webco (tape recorder). I just put it down as I wrote it, just a strum of the guitar. He told me I should make a record on it. I told him all I meant for it to be was a tribute to play on my show.” Dee had no intention of recording it himself.