Early in the year of 1959, a group of young, talented musicians were touring across the United States, gifting the country with their tunes. They traveled on an old, beat up bus with no working heat, in the dead of winter. After playing a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly (the headliner of the tour) decided to charter a small plane to the next gig rather than risk frost bite on the frigid bus. There was, however, only four seats (including the pilot), and not all the musicians in the group could ride in the plane. So, after some negotiations and a coin flip, it was decided that the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens would fly with Buddy - and Waylon Jennings along with Tommy Allsup would brave the bus. On February 3rd of 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper were killed in that plane - the day music died.

However, years earlier, the Big Bopper would make a mark on country music that will never be forgotten. J.P. Richardson, otherwise known as the Big Bopper, wrote the song "White Lightning" - which combined the rockabilly sound of the time with a new style of country which was beginning to emerge. In 1958, under an influence of a TON of alcohol, George Jones recorded the tune. The song was later released on February 9th, 1959 - just days after the Big Boppers death. Two months later, the tune became George Jones' first number one single.

Without the brilliant writing of the Big Bopper, the world may have never experienced the incredible career or The Possum. I, for one, could never imagine my childhood without listening to Mr. Jones' wonderful voice.

This shirt is a tribute to the two men who blurred the lines between classic country and rockabilly while still remaining true to their roots.


This item is created using a Wrangler Riggs denim button-up, with a hand-designed & hand-stitched embroidery portrait.



XLarge White Lightning Shirt

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