Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959) went
by the name “The Big Bopper” when he became a deejay (below) at KTRM radio
(now KZZB) in Beaumont, Texas. He had been working part time at the station after graduating from high school in 1949. Richardson went full time at KTRM after a stint
in the army and having quit college. His show,"The Big Bopper Shop", attracted a
strong listenership. In May 1957 he set a world record for continuous broadcasting
with his "Discathon," remaining on the air for six straight days and spinning 1,821 records. J.P. was influenced by Country and Western music and began writing songs, moving toward the new sound of Rockabilly. During this abbreviated songwriting career, he composed about thirty-eight tunes, and recorded over twenty of them. One of those tunes was Chantilly Lace, released on Mercury Records in the summer of 1958. On
February 3, 1959, Richardson was killed in a small-plane crash in Iowa, along with
the great Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.