Three Stars

Album: Closet Classics (1959)
Charted: 11

Songfacts®:

  • This song is a tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. The three entertainers died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, in what became known as the "Day the music died" thanks to the Don McLean song "American Pie."
  • Tommy Dee (Tommy Donaldson) was a disc jockey at KFXM in San Bernadino. After the plane crash, he got the idea for this song and took it to Crest Records, where he recorded it with Carol Kay And The Teen-Aires. Tommy performed the narration on the song.
  • This was the only hit for Tommy Dee, who died in 2007 after a long career producing and promoting Country music.
  • Eddie Cochran, who was good friends with Ritchie Valens, was the first to record this song, but his version was not released until 1966. Cochran died the year after he recorded this, when on April 17, 1960 he was killed in a car accident. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 5

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1959 {June 12th} Ruby Wright's covered version of "Three Stars" peaked at #19 {for 1 week} on the United Kingdom's National Music Express chart...
    One month earlier on May 4th, 1959 Ms. Wright's version was at #99 during it's one week stay on the U.S. Billboard's Top 100 chart, and also that very same week Tommy Dee with Carol Kay and the Teen-Aires' original version peaked at #11 on the Top 100 chart...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the U.K. NME Top 10 on June 12th, 1959:
    At #1. "A Fool Such As I"/"I Need Your Love Tonight" by Elvis Presley
    #2. "Roulette" by Russ Conway
    #3. "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" by Buddy Holly
    #4. "It's Late" by Ricky Nelson
    #5. "Dream Lover" by Bobby Darin
    #6. "I've Waited So Long" by Anthony Newley
    #7. "Side Saddle" by Russ Conway
    #8. "A Teenage In Love" by Marty Wilde
    #9. "I Go Ape" by Neil Sedaka
    #10. "Come Softly To Me" by Frankie Vaughn and the Kaye Sisters
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1959 {May 4th} "Three Stars" by Tommy Dee with Carol Kay & the Teen-Aires peaked at #11 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, thus just missing making the Top 10 chart...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the ten records that kept it out of the Top 10 were:
    At #1. "Come Softly To Me" by the Fleetwoods
    #2. "The Happy Organ" by Dave 'Baby' Cortez
    #3. "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)" by the Impalas
    #4. "Pink Shoe Laces" by Dodie Stevens
    #5. "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" by the Virtues
    #6. "(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such As I" by Elvis Presley
    #7. "I Need Your Love Tonight" by Elvis Presley
    #8. "Tell Him No" by Travis and Bob
    #9. "Venus" by Frankie Avalon
    #10. "Turn Me Loose" by Fabian
    The same week that Tommy Dee's "Three Stars" peaked at #11, a covered version by Ruby Wright entered the Top 100 at position #99, it remained on the chart for one week...
    And the following month on June 19th, 1959 Ms. Wright's version peaked at #19 {for 1 week} on the United Kingdom's National Music Express chart...
  • Albert Leichter from Staunton, VaFor those interested in more information on the recording and Tommy Dee's career please see my book (available from Amazon, Brnes & Noble, etc.)-"Tommy Dee, Three Stars Still Shining: The story behind the first tribute song to Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens," ISBN 978-0-9704280-9-7. This book is based on my 1993 interview with Dee and I am the only person who had interviewed Dee since 1959.
  • Aaron from Calhoun, GaEddie's version of this song is as heart-wrenching a record I've ever heard. The still very raw pain from the loss - especially of his good friend Buddy - comes through with every word he speaks or sings. Taking into account Eddie's premonitions of his own death, buying and playing all of Buddy's records in England and saying he'd be with him soon, makes it that much more haunting.
  • Tony from Devon, EnglandWhen Eddie Cochran recorded his version on 5 February, he was so overcome with emotion that he couldn't complete the song in one take. As a result, various sections had to be spliced together for the final version. (According to Jerry Capehart)
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