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Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens (CD)

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(2006/Wounded Bird) 12 tracksplus

Ritchie Valens: Ritchie Valens (CD)

(2006/Wounded Bird) 12 tracks

Propriétés de l'article: Ritchie Valens: Ritchie Valens (CD)

Valens, Ritchie - Ritchie Valens (CD) CD 1
01 That's My Little Suzy 1:52 Ritchie Valens
02 In A Turkish Town 2:16 Ritchie Valens
03 Come On, Let's Go 2:03 Ritchie Valens
04 Donna 2:29 Ritchie Valens
05 Bony Moronie 2:46 Ritchie Valens
06 Ooh, My Head 1:50 Ritchie Valens
07 La Bamba 2:08 Ritchie Valens
08 Bluebirds Move Over The Mountain 1:45 Ritchie Valens
09 Hi Tone 2:06 Ritchie Valens
10 Framed 2:12 Ritchie Valens
11 We Belong Together 1:56 Ritchie Valens
12 Dooby Dooby Wah Ritchie Valens
Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens, who became the first major star of Chicano rock and roll in... plus
"Ritchie Valens"

Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens, who became the first major star of Chicano rock and roll in Southern California, was born Richard Steven Valenzuela in Pacoima, San Fernando Valley (near Los An- geles), on May 13, 1941. His parents, of Mexican descent, separated when Richard was only three years old. He grew up with his father listening to Mariachi music, flamenco gui- tar, and rhythm and blues. His father encouraged his musical ambitions and Richard started playing guitar at a young age, as well as trumpet and drums. After his father’s sudden death in 1951, Richard returned to his mother’s home in Pacoima. He attended Pacoima Junior High School at age 13, where he entertained his schoolmates with his guitar. It was during this time that he began to develop his distinctive style, impro- vising words and melodies and seldom playing a song the same way twice. 

Record producers would later remark that Ritchie played a song different every time. Valenzuela became a huge Little Richard fan when the rock and roll craze began. He joined a local band called The Sil- houettes as their guitarist but soon became their lead singer. His high-energy performances inspired by Richard’s rock and roll hero earned him the nickname ‘The Little Richard of the Valley.’ Those performances came to the attention of Del-Fi label boss Bob Keane, who recognized Richard’s star quality and signed him to a contract in May of 1958. On Keane’s recommendation, Valenzuela shortened his name to a more commercial-sounding Ritchie Valens. Valens’ first Del-Fi sin- gle Come On Let’s Go almost reached ‘Billboard’s‘ Top 40, peaking at #42 in September of 1958. Tommy Steele cov- ered the song for the British market. Only two months later, Valens hit it big with La Bamba b/w Donna, peaking at #22 (La Bamba) and #2 (Donna) on ‘Bill- board’s‘ Top 100. This huge success made Ritchie the first international Chicano star almost overnight. 

He quit high school and made numerous television appearances, including Dick Clark’s ‘American Bandstand,’ and Alan Freed’s Christmas show. More recording sessions for Del-Fi and an appearance in the rock and roll film ‘Go, Johnny, Go’ fol- lowed. The fateful ‘Winter Dance Party’ tour of the Midwest started in early 1959, along with Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Dion and The Belmonts, and Frankie Sardo, among others. Poor climate conditions on the tour bus led Valens, Holly, and The Big Bopper to charter a plane after their gig in Clear Lake, Iowa. The plane crashed into a snowy field shortly af- ter takeoff, killing all on board. Valens was only 17 years old. Although Donna was Valens’ biggest hit, he is most remem- bered for his rockin’ version of the Mexican folk song La Bamba; three decades later it was the title of a movie about his life. 

Recorded by Los Lobos for the movie, it reached top positions on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and brought Ritchie‘s name back into the public consciousness in the 1980s. Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not bad for a youngster from the San Fernando Valley whose career lasted only eight months...

Marc Mittelacher in August 2020

© Bear Family Records®
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Various Artists
The Right To Rock - The Mexicano And Chicano Rock'n'Roll Rebellion 1955-1963 (CD)

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Tracklist
Valens, Ritchie - Ritchie Valens (CD) CD 1
01 That's My Little Suzy 1:52
02 In A Turkish Town 2:16
03 Come On, Let's Go 2:03
04 Donna 2:29
05 Bony Moronie 2:46
06 Ooh, My Head 1:50
07 La Bamba 2:08
08 Bluebirds Move Over The Mountain 1:45
09 Hi Tone 2:06
10 Framed 2:12
11 We Belong Together 1:56
12 Dooby Dooby Wah