Valens, Ritchie, 1941-1959

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1941-05-13
Death 1959-02-03
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela, May 13, 1941, Pacoima, CA–d. February 3, 1959, Clear Lake, IA) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. A rock & roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted eight months, as it abruptly ended when he died in a plane crash.

During this time, he had several hits, most notably "La Bamba", which he had adapted from a Mexican folk song. Valens transformed the song into one with a rock rhythm and beat, and it became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement.

On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as "the Day the Music Died", Valens died in a plane crash in Iowa, an accident that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson. Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6fk073z
Ark ID:
w6fk073z
SNAC ID:
38698216

Subjects:

  • Rock music

Occupations:

  • Musicians

Places:

  • Los Angeles, CA, US
  • Clear Lake, IA, US