February 5, 2009

Son wants Hall of Fame to induct ‘Bopper’

The son of J.P. Richardson, the late U.S. music star known as the Big Bopper, is campaigning to get his father inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Chantilly Lace singer/songwriter died at the age of 28 in a plane crash in Iowa on Feb. 3, 1959, along with fellow recording artists Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

His son, Jay P. Richardson, was born 84 days later.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lists 'Chantilly Lace' as one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, Richardson said in a statement released Wednesday. But Dad hasn't been inducted with Buddy and Ritchie. Dad deserves this recognition not because of his death or because he wrote three songs that topped the charts, but because he is now recognized as the innovator of the music video.

Richardson said it is important to him to keep his father's music alive.

I need all his fans, young and old, to write the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame requesting his induction, Richardson said. Elvis has Priscilla and Buddy has Maria Elena to carry on their legacies. My mother was so devastated by Dad's death, decades passed before she could speak about him. I need to make up for lost time.

Richardson, known professionally as Bopper, Jr., tours with the Winter Dance Party tribute show.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Web site is www.rockhall.com and its mailing address is 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.