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.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora One trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
More Info
No Thanks
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

BRUCE BENNET IS COOL
TELL ME
DOES EVERYONE KNOW JOEY. GABE FROM FOLCROFT PA.
I always sing his songs Joey Gabe sings like him
love his music , very young men gone r.i.p Ritchie
Best singer I ever heard
Ritchie valens had a long life ahead of him RIP Ritchie valens
May they R.I.P well love them
Drinking music
Its always about Richie what about Bob
Not my Richie
Ritchie Valens' music still lives on. RIP Ritchie., You were one the greats.
Rip daddy-o
dragonlady60 8 8
ritchie...go n e to soon..rip.xo x o x o
such great music
why did he have die? :(
pnotchr73
I really like La Bamba, too!
dragonlady60 8 8
Met richie when i was a kid
i love the movie and this artist
Feb. 3 the day the music died...
W3 belong together,,yo u r lips belong to only me..Ritchie valens
My head hurts love you bro pete flores iam going play just like you gods bess
I love the music and i cry every time i see the movie, Rip Ritchie God Bless, Amen.
I love all his songs there great
I love them all as well may u all rest in peace u r with the. Lord now in his house in heaven rock and roll never dies it stays 4. Ever
I love Ritchie Valens music.. Viva Ricardo Valenzuela.
We belong together RICHARD�� I wish��
Why do all the good singers die young? There's him, John Lennon, Davy Jones, John Denver, the list goes on! R.I.P. I love you all!
BENDICIONES ,.-´+´-., GRACIAS ,.-´+´-., BENITO BARRETO JIMENEZ ,.-´+´-., RECORDANDO AQUELLOS AYERES ,.-´+´-., MI LINDO TIJUANA ,.-´+´-., COLONIA MEXICO ,.-´+´-., TIEMPOS DEL PACHUCO ,.-´+´-.,
Long live richie, buddy, big bopper.
Thats my boy rv
daoud1717
La Bamba the movie converted many to huge Richie Valens fans...RIP indeed
Great singer. Life was way to short.
Forever 17 I love you Ritchie
Ur mine we belong together if mine and only mine my baby nd will always be my baby
Since she left me, I have never been the same where can she be now that your gone idk what I'll do
This song man is awsome!
I was born in. . Escondido . Calif. In 1952. I was lucky enough to have teenage sisters and remember when. Richy . Valenzuela perrished. Buddy holly broke hearts for a cavacho' star who loved a hispanic lady, but losing . Richy made it tragic in our community.
I like this song
Oh Richie ...
I can just imagine the great songs and career Ritchie valens would have had by now a total legend
Ritchie is such a good singer
This my Sister's song, going crazy dance all day
He was such an amazing singer and artist
Ritchie Valens is WAY better then Elvis Presley!Just saying and no afence....la t e r peps!��
You're mineeeeeeeee e . . . Your lips belong to meeeee... Yes they belong to only meee.. For eternityyyy <3
Rest in paradise Ritchie
Richie Valens was so talented. He came from a good family which had values. I don't remember him, but I live his voice and songs.
nadia.nunez4 5
Please dont say that ritchie is better than elvis presley. Cause i luv the king and more people love elvis than ritchie.
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.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

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).

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