Ritchie Valens – The Day The Music Died – Part 3

Ritchie Valens – The Day The Music Died – Part 3
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Ritchie Valens Career Had Only Just Begun

Richie Valens career had only just begun when the native Californians died on February 3, 1959, on a cornfield in Iowa. His now famous song “La Bamba” had been recorded only a short time previously. Today, Valens is nevertheless as a pioneer of Chicano rock, which also so many different artists such as Carlos Santana and Los Lobos are counted. What still would have given only 17 year-old world of music which at his death, he would not have increased in the wrong plane, can only imagine.

Ritchie Valens - The Day The Music Died - Part 3

Ritchie Valens Talent Showed Early

As for his fellow Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens musical talent was early clear. The singer, born in 1941 in the vicinity of Los Angeles while grew up in poor circumstances, at least with music was there but not saved. Mariacchi music, blues and flamenco admitted it on every street corner listening. Especially had done at, as the future star was born, however first Ricardo Steven Valenzuela of the country.


Mariacchi musician wanted to be anyway, Valens, although he met in young age trumpet.Instead he was like many other rock ´ n ´ roll legends. As soon as he once held a guitar in his hands, he had found his vocation.

This Valens was different from Elvis Presley, for example, not only a good singer, but also a creative guitarist, what is little evident on the few erhaltenenen shots of him. The guitar arts of the young Californian fall but even more weight, as this actually was left-handed, but taught himself playing on a conventional guitar.

To do so, his talent as a singer and entertainer revealed early. Whether on the schoolyard or at school events, the young Valens had scarcely an opportunity, to practice or to occur.At 16 he was the supposedly single rock finally member of the silhouettes, ´ n ´ roll band of the area near the San Fernando high school, and enjoyed as a little local fame, shortly before he should tour the States.

A Life With Tragic Moments

Ritchie Valens’s life was overshadowed by some tragic moments before its end. Who has seen the genre typical cheesy troubled Hollywood movie “La Bamba” in 1987, already has an idea.

So, the father of the young Richard died when he was only 10 years old. Also was the Pacoima junior high school, the Valens at this time visited in January 1957 site of a tragic accident. It met two aircraft in the air, one of them crashed on the schoolyard. The consequences were 7 people dead and over 70 injured.

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Ritchie Valens was gone that day for a funeral not to school, developed a fear of flying that he only came over with his career but after various representations as a result of the accident. How that corresponds to the facts and the “fear of flying” the Californian was not more a contemporary typical uncertainty compared to the not so common travel in the air, is controversial. Hollywood is understandably opted for the first option.
The fact is that’s not easily had Valens, how many people who came from poor circumstances, neither financially nor what concerned his family relationships. The success story of the musician appeared according to first as a picture-book version of the American dream.

Discovery And Major Achievements Of The Singer

Valens was discovered by Bob Keane, the owner of a small record label in Hollywood with the beautiful name of del-fi records. Keane was curious has been among other things by the nickname of the young musician, who was known as “The Little Richard of the Valley”.Keane liked what he saw and heard in particular, and so he undertook the was only 17-year-old contract. At the same time he gave him his artist name. Valens was just better marketing than Valenzuela at a wide audience of – American – and the “t” in Ritchie appeared as a unique selling point.

The first single, recorded with a studio band, which included under other now legendary musicians such as Earl Palmer on drums, Carol Kaye on guitar and Ernie Freeman on piano, Valens was called “Come on, let BB´s go” and climbed at least to place 42 of the American charts. The next single proved even more successful. While “La Bamba” the 22 took place and only after Valens death became his biggest hit, his greatest success in his lifetime was “Donna”, the singer for his high school flame had written the romantic Ballad of German drinking songs.

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Meanwhile, Valens decided to leave the school, and toured with Keane help throughout the country. Among other things, the young singer graduated from two performances at the renowned TV show “American Bandstand” and ´ Jubilee in New York occurred when Alan Freeds Christmas – along with greats like Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. Finally, Valens, the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Dion and the Belmonts together participated dance party in the winter.

A Fatal Coin Toss – The Death Of Ritchie Valens

As well as the Big Bopper also Valens should actually get on a plane, that Holly had chartered to avoid uncomfortable traveling on the tour bus. But the new star had the cold tired and persuaded Tommy Allsup, Buddy Holly’s guitarist, to toss a coin to the seat on the plane with him. Head won and thus Valens was ultimately on the fateful flight. That at least is the most widespread version of an also controversial history. Many years later, Tommy Allsup opened by the way a club with the name “Tommy Head BB´s up saloon” in Dallas.