Young Ritchie Valens.
Ritchie Valens, a pioneer of rock and roll and a forefather of Chicano rock, died in a plane crash eight months after he began recording.
In 1941, Mexican American singer Ritchie Valens was born in Pacoima, California as Richard Steven Valenzuela. Ritchie Valens is considered a pioneer of Chicano rock and Latin rock and inspired a variety of musicians of Mexican heritage.
At a time when there were few Latinos in American rock and pop, Valens influenced Los Lobos, The Lonely Boys, and Carlos Santana. His success as the first Latino in mainstream rock is widely regarded.
The recording career of Valens ended abruptly when he was killed in a plane crash eight months later. His most notable hit, “La Bamba”, is an adaptation of a Mexican folk song. The song was transformed into a rock-influenced hit by Valens in 1958, making him a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. In addition, his hit “Donna” reached number two in the US.
Valens died at the age of 17 in a plane crash in Iowa on February 3, 1959, which has become known as “The Day the Music Died”. Buddy Holly and J. Dilla also died in the crash. The Big Bopper, P. Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson.
Ritchie Valens was known professionally as Ritchie Valens. Ritchie Steven Valenzuela (May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
A posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was made in 2001.
Stunning photos that capture Ritchie Valens shortly before his death.
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” die in a plane crash
Three rising stars of American music, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Approximately a few minutes after taking off from Mason City on a flight headed for Moorhead, Minnesota, ‘The Big Bopper’ Richardson and his chartered Beechcraft Bonanza are killed in a crash in Iowa. Pilot error and bad weather were blamed for the crash. A song by Holly and the Crickets had just reached the No. 1 spot.
The Winter Dance Party Tour had to be flown between stops by Holly’s band since the tour bus had mechanical issues. Waylon Jennings, Holly’s band member, was forced into giving up his seat by Richardson, who had the flu. Ritchie Valens subsequently won another seat by coin toss.
As a teenager, Holley sang country music with his friends before switching to rock ‘n roll after opening for performers such as Elvis Presley in Lubbock, Texas. Holly was just 22 when he died in 1959. Holly and his band toured internationally by the mid-1950s, playing songs like “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy!” and “See You Soon.”Holly wrote every one of his songs, many were released after he died and had an influence on artists such as Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan.
J.P. was another crash victim. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, 28, was originally a disk jockey in Texas before he began writing songs. Richardson’s most famous recording was the rockabilly “Chantilly Lace,” which made the Top 10. He developed a stage show based on his radio persona, “The Big Bopper.”
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Ritchie Valens Singles
|Year||Titles (b/w indicates B-side track)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
|Record label||Peak chart positions||Album|
|US Billboard||US Cashbox||AUS
|1958||“Come On, Let’s Go”
|Del-Fi 4106||42||51||53||Ritchie Valens|
b/w “La Bamba”
b/w “Big Baby Blues”
Original pressings shown as “Arvee Allens”; later pressings
shown as “Ritchie Valens”
|“That’s My Little Suzie”
b/w “In a Turkish Town”
|Del-Fi 4114||55||43||N/A||Ritchie Valens|
b/w “We Belong Together” (from Ritchie Valens)
|“Stay Beside Me”
b/w “Big Baby Blues”
|1960||“The Paddiwack Song”
b/w “Cry, Cry, Cry”
The above three singles were issued on gold Valens Memorial Series
labels. Del-Fi 4117 was also issued with picture sleeve.
|1987||“La Bamba ’87”
b/w “La Bamba” (original version from Ritchie Valens)
|Del-Fi 1287||—||—||89||Non-album track|
|1998||“Come On, Let’s Go”
b/w “La Bamba”
|Del-Fi 51341||—||—||—||Come On, Let’s Go!|
Ritchie Valens Quick Facts
- How old was Ritchie Valens when he died?
– He was 17 years old when he died.
- How did Ritchie Valens die?
– He had died in a plane crash.
- What happened to Ritchie Valens donna?
– Donna now lives in a small community near Sacramento with her third husband. She has two daughters
- When did Ritchie Valens die?
– He died February 3, 1959 (aged 17)
|Birth name||Richard Steven Valenzuela|
|Also known as||Ritchie Valens|
|Born||May 13, 1941
Pacoima, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||February 3, 1959 (aged 17)
Clear Lake, Iowa, U.S.
|Associated acts||Waylon Jennings Buddy Holly|