It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Ritchie Valens

The first Hispanic rock star, Ritchie Valens will forever be known as one of the two musicians (along with the Big Bopper) who perished with Buddy Holly in 1959, when their private plane crashed in the midst of a Midwest tour. At the time, Valens had only recently established himself as one of the most promising young talents in rock & roll, just barely missing the top of the charts with "Donna," a number two hit, and pioneering a blend of rock and Latin music with the single's almost equally popular flip side, "La Bamba." Like many rock stars who died prematurely, it's difficult to assess his unrealized potential; he was only 17 at the time of his death, and had just barely begun to make records. Nevertheless, Valens' music has endured for decades.

Ricardo Esteban Valenzuela Reyes was raised in a Mexican-American household in the San Fernando Valley. He played several instruments as a child and eventually devoted most of his focus to the guitar, learning a right-hand version of the guitar despite his own left-handedness. Valens' musical influences were diverse, running the gamut from Little Richard and rockabilly to traditional Mexican genres like mariachi, and his talent on the guitar earned him a spot in a local band, the Silhouettes, when he was 16. Valens eventually became the band's frontman. While playing at a local movie theater in 1958, he was discovered by producer Bob Keane, who signed Valens to his Del-Fi label and convinced him to shorten his surname to "Valens," claiming the abbreviated version had broader appeal than "Valenzuela." Under Keane's wing, Valens entered a Los Angeles recording studio in July and emerged with "Come on Let's Go," which climbed to number 42 on the national charts.

By the end of 1958, Valens had quit high school in order to focus on his career, which had skyrocketed after his second single, "Donna," climbed to number two. Also enjoying a good amount of popularity was the single's innovative flip side, "La Bamba," a rocked-up Mexican folk song performed entirely in Spanish. "La Bamba" featured some fierce guitar work, as well as the thick sound of the Danelectro bass, which gave the instrument more electric presence than it had previously enjoyed on any rock & roll disc. Valens was subsequently hailed as one of rock & roll's teen idols, and he hit road in early 1959 alongside Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Dion & the Belmonts, and Frankie Sardo.

Billed as "the Winter Dance Party," the tour was originally scheduled to hit 24 Midwestern cities over the course of three weeks. The musicians all shared a single bus, whose heater broke several days into the tour, worsening the long drives between each show. By the time the Winter Dance Party rolled into Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2, Buddy Holly had grown tired of the chilly conditions and decided to book a plane in order to fly to the show's next stop. After that evening's show at the Surf Ballroom, Holly boarded the plane along with Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. The aircraft crashed several minutes after takeoff, though, instantly killing pilot Roger Peterson along with all three of his passengers. Ritchie Valens was 17 years old.

Valens only had about two albums' worth of material in the can, as well as some lo-fi live tapes of a gig at a local junior high, before his death; undoubtedly, some (or many) of these were demos or unfinished tracks. Other singers emulated Valens' Mexican-American brand of rock in the following years, most notably Chan Romero (originator of "Hippy Hippy Shake," who also recorded for Bob Keane's Del-Fi label and used some of the same musicians who had backed Valens) and Chris Montez. In the 1980s and 1990s, the L.A.-based Latino rock band Los Lobos were often cited for reflecting Valens' influence, and groups like Los Lonely Boys carried the torch of Chicano rock into the 21st century. Meanwhile, the 1987 film La Bamba (whose soundtrack heavily featured Los Lobos) gave his story a glossy Hollywood makeover, exposing Valens' legacy to millions even as it introduced the usual distortions and factual errors in its dramatization of his brief life. ~ Richie Unterberger & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Never knew who "Ritchie Valens" was, until I saw the movie when it first came out in 1987. I was so proud that he was Hispanic (Mexican - American) like me. I seen that movie that year around 5 times. RIP Ritchie, wish you would've made more music! :)
irenegonzo62 3
I'm re-posting ... don't want bad Karma...
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. Now you've started reading their don't stop. This is so scary post this on 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works.
christine_gi a l l o m b a r d o
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. Now you've started reading their don't stop. This is so scary post this on 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works.
pcarlin2352
My worst birthday ever February 3 when Richie died
While other people listen to terrible s**tty "music", the smart people listen to REAL music, like Ritchie.
One of the best .
electric4whe e l s
La Bamba, as I type,, same as Misspriss018 1 . . . . .
Los lobos
Quadalupeoco a 9 . You are so lucky! My father also raised me in Ritchie Valens and all 40's thru 90's music. But Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly are my favorite artists.
my Dad worked with Ritchie back as kids so I grew up with this music and in this era with my Dad I mess my Dad but I do have the music and I also try to listen to it with my kids I love the music and the era thanks for the music.
lizmarie0620
Wish I lived during this era!!!
Great Hispanic pioneer!
We had a lot in common. The same age, I am
In the movie he had 50 out takes
Elvis is a bad singer and Richi is sooooo bette :-)
I love the movie la Bamba sad he past away love the player of Ritchie valens on la Bamba (Lou dimmound Phillips!!
Rip ritchie
We all miss you when I watch the movie la bamba
ajgray1980
When i was 2 i sang la bamba over and over
The potential was there to become a huge success. I was delivering papers the day the music died. Come on lets go is wicked good.
misspriss018 1
Way before my time, but Ritchie's story touched my heart. I'm so sad that he had to die so soon. My heart goes out to his family. I love his music too!
LABAMBA
Best singer ever
richardj520
Ritchie valens
I love u so much and rip. Love u so cute
Say iPhone 5 times say a color repost this on 5 songs look under pillow
He died far too young
It sounds like his say grab my underwear
Just to young great singer an person
Oh
L
RIP.. WAS BEFORE MY TIME BUT LOVE HIS MUSIC
Awesome young talent. RIP Richie
I never met u but ur song are asome..r.i.p richi
He died young... 17?
Good voice and so cute
Better than any other singer or group,R.I.P RITCHIE
We are in no men's land I haven't seen a paisano makin it big, living even having all the talent. In the world,.RIP richie. .
He is the best so sad what happend): I will always love him❤️
perezfam.200 3
Love his voice
I like Elvis but he is not better the Ritchie Valens and who ever is being mean about him for shame for shame
Yum yummmm reba
Funny, When the movie came out I was dating this girl named Donna.
Not My Richie!!!!! R.I.P.
Richie valens is s**t!!!!!!! Fuk yea
I love the song Donna and he was a good singer
Love you
Rip Bh/Rv/Bb
I love this song
I am 9 but is till love richie valens
Show more

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[74, 77, 68, 123, 64, 123, 127, 116, 86, 102, 111, 68, 110, 120, 78, 100, 118, 105, 93, 71, 92, 103, 113, 101, 91, 76, 127, 71, 82, 81, 80, 78, 89, 70, 68, 75, 119, 95, 89, 106, 94, 113, 83, 73, 82, 95, 81, 69, 101, 127, 127, 112, 66, 116, 105, 72, 96, 110, 109, 73, 68, 92, 79, 101, 118, 110, 106, 70, 115, 77, 113, 83, 113, 120, 120, 120, 127, 69, 81, 83, 93, 111, 102, 80, 71, 104, 124, 73, 108, 106, 109, 69, 125, 95, 102, 80, 74, 127, 96, 84, 121, 94, 69, 124, 68, 123, 115, 127, 86, 100, 86, 94, 124, 109, 97, 120, 107, 79, 120, 112, 79, 87, 102, 124, 107, 71, 84, 111, 95, 119, 99, 89, 114, 113, 95, 66, 121, 86, 73, 107, 95, 78, 67, 113, 127, 122, 95, 115, 88, 83, 117, 87, 98, 89, 118, 127, 90, 83, 116, 69, 102, 113, 86, 66, 99, 99, 122, 82, 115, 124, 101, 73, 81, 90, 82, 98, 125, 119, 75, 126, 97, 110, 88, 105, 80, 118, 71, 79, 114, 90, 123, 75, 73, 122, 87, 127, 86, 67, 78, 118, 65, 116, 111, 70, 127, 81, 108, 118, 76, 115, 124, 77, 64, 95, 92, 70, 122, 123, 89, 125, 111, 99, 80, 116, 70, 106, 109, 76, 90, 88, 122, 86, 93, 104, 117, 90, 116, 119, 123, 73, 111, 109, 85, 98, 123, 82, 126, 106, 74, 72, 102, 115, 87, 112, 66, 121, 94, 67, 124, 104, 105, 100, 89, 75, 125, 122, 113, 118, 114, 93, 91, 70, 119, 73, 108, 107, 127, 67, 104, 118, 96, 111, 122, 71, 91, 87, 87, 78, 78, 91, 83, 94, 110, 64, 109, 104, 67, 111, 91, 124, 97, 75, 125, 98, 110, 117, 108, 121, 101, 86, 66, 122, 112, 121, 100, 104, 73, 71, 118, 99, 85, 117, 64, 115, 110, 108, 65, 77, 116, 91, 98, 124, 95, 107, 117, 105, 112, 78, 123, 118, 122, 110, 76, 96, 119, 120, 96, 99, 89, 105, 112, 78, 71, 125, 120, 107, 76, 122, 89, 114, 83, 101, 106, 116, 68, 94, 111, 80, 82, 108, 89, 126, 93, 111, 76, 95, 106, 74, 83, 124, 85, 96, 93, 64, 113, 109, 75, 122, 123, 112, 87, 71, 70, 72, 117, 91, 67, 66, 83, 84, 117, 107, 71, 108, 108, 77, 83, 73, 112, 102, 67, 94, 88, 107, 94, 100, 65, 70, 110, 67, 124, 70, 115, 127, 87, 117, 79, 112, 64, 98, 86, 94, 102, 98, 97, 83, 72, 123, 84, 99, 91, 79, 104, 98, 101, 109, 112, 73, 74, 69, 76, 66, 92, 85, 107, 114, 66, 105, 103, 76, 67, 104, 112, 127, 111, 89, 68, 104, 96, 103, 72, 83, 115, 93, 106, 104, 95, 68, 99, 113, 67, 101, 107, 72, 113, 102, 122, 111, 107, 104, 103, 69, 101, 105, 67, 94, 110, 96, 106, 82, 88, 95, 115, 99, 113, 110, 68, 81, 76, 89, 101, 120]