Hispanic Heritage Month: Ritchie Valens

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9.21.12.RitchieValens.jpgPhoto by Salina Cavinzales

A pioneer of both rock and roll and the Chicano rock movement, Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela) is one of the more tragic figures of early rock. Ritchie began to play music at a young age, teaching himself to play the guitar and also the drums. Ritchie earned a recording contract at the age of sixteen, exemplified by his two greatest hits: "La Bamba" and "Come On, Let's Go", the former being a Mexican folk song blended with rock and roll sung entirely in Spanish. Ritchie's recording success and blossoming popularity led him to appearances on TV and film, eventually leading to a music tour in the Midwest with Buddy Holly and "The Big Bopper". This tour would tragically end in a plane crash that took the lives of Ritchie, Holly, and the Bopper, known as "The Day the Music Died". While his recording career lasted only eight months, Ritchie's music serves as inspiration for a multitude of musicians to this day, a lasting legacy in song and melody. For those interested in his music, the library contains many of Valens' albums.


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This page contains a single entry by Kristina published on September 21, 2012 8:33 AM.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Dara Torres was the previous entry in this blog.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Cristina Saralegui is the next entry in this blog.

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