Recently, upon writing the word “lace”, the old song “Chantilly Lace” began playing in my head. I pondered as to what “Chantilly” lace actually was. Prior to tools provided by the internet, I would likely have tried looking in a physical dictionary and found little information.

Now with the internet age, I found a complete article on Wikipedia about the fabric known as Chantilly lace. It’s a handmade bobbin lace named after the city of Chantilly in France. Its history is described in detail with photos on one side. As it pertains to the song, it would be sewn into the most feminine of attire.

A separate listing on the site concerns the 1958 popular song of the same name by The Big Bopper. I recall this oft-played song well, having heard it many times on the local rock and roll station via my Kenwood receiver. The Big Bopper’s real name was Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr., the son of an oil field worker from Sabine, Texas. He was killed February, 1959, in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa, along with popular musicians Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, during poor visibility in bad weather conditions.

The accident was famously referred to as “The Day the Music Died” in Don McLean’s 1971 song “American Pie”. Fortunately for us, the music didn’t die, and in fact, the song “Chantilly Lace” has been covered many times since then by artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Sha Na Na, and the Rolling Stones. Richie Valens’ song “La Bamba” was popularized in a movie about his life and performed by Los Lobos. Los Lobos’ cover of this song went on to take them from relative obscurity to international fame. Holly, another Texan, was also immortalized in a separate movie bearing his name. In his short career, he wrote and performed many popular rock & roll songs such as “Peggy Sue”, “Oh, Donna”, and “That’ll Be The Day”.

My internet journey had started with a single word. One thing leads to another when I’m browsing. I could spend hours on one thread alone, wandering down familiar side paths or exploring new unknown ones. The world wide web, especially with tools like Google and Wikipedia, has been a boon to my inquisitive mind. Just as many folks binge-watch TV programs, I binge on one thread or another on the internet. As a history buff, I could spend my life roaming the internet in that arena alone.

As I sit here writing, I can still hear the Big Bopper singing the chorus:

Chantilly lace and a pretty face
And a pony tail a hangin’ down
That wiggle in the walk
And giggle in the talk
Makes the world go round.
There ain’t nothin’ in the world
Like a big-eyed girl
That makes me act so funny
Make me spend my money
Make me feel real loose
Like a long necked goose
Like a girl, oh baby, that’s what I like!

R.I.P. – The Big Bopper, Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson Jr.

Jerry My Mind Laid Bare

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