Buddy Holly and the Crickets were reportedly offered guest spots in this picture, but their producer/manager Norman Petty turned the offer down, over the objections of the group, because they would not be paid. See more »
Go, Johnny, Go! Was the only film in which Richie Valens (Richard Steven Valenzuela) appears on screen. This is significant. 17 year old Valens was killed only a few months after filming, in the plane crash with The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson) and Buddy Holly, on February 3, 1959.
Go, Johnny, Go! wasn't released until the spring of 1959.
The crash itself, also has some unusual circumstances attached to it. The plane had been chartered by Buddy Holly so that he could join his band at the next stop, Fargo, North Dakota. Valens, Holly, "Jape" as the Big Bopper preferred to be called, and Dion and the Belmonts had been traveling on a bus throughout the Midwest on the "Winter Dance Party, 1959" tour. The bus had been having engine problems and the interior heating system was not working. As a result, "Jape" was coming down with the flu and asked Buddy Holly if he could have Holly's bass player's seat on the plane. The bass player for Holly at that time, was Waylon Jennings. Jennings gave up his seat and the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly took off at 1:00 AM in the morning from Clear Lake, Iowa and entered rock and roll history only eight miles from the airport.
At the time of the crash, Ritchie Valans's singles, "La Bomba" and "Donna" made him the most popular artist on the bill.
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