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
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Best Of Ritchie Valens

1. La Bamba

2. That's My Little Suzie

3. Hurry Up

4. Donna

5. Malaguena

6. Ooh! My Head

7. Bony Moronie

8. Little Girl

9. We Belong Together

10. Cry Cry Cry

11. Ritchie's Blues

12. Bluebirds Over The Mountain

13. Paddi-Wack Song

14. Rockin' All Night

15. Framed

16. Hi-Tone

17. Big Baby Blues

18. Stay Beside Me

19. Dooby Dooby Wah

20. Fast Freight

21. In Aturkish Town

22. Come On Let's Go

Comments

Report as inappropriate
musicalsunsh i n e 7
La la la la bama !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
LA BAMBA!!!
Report as inappropriate
<3
Report as inappropriate
Awesome songs including LA gamba
Report as inappropriate
Iphone iphone iphone iphone iphone blue
Report as inappropriate
Nice voice, but this guy sucks.
Report as inappropriate
His songs are good
Report as inappropriate
Come on let's go my auintes fave song before she died r i p
Report as inappropriate
Hold that Thought Am pm Calling
Report as inappropriate
Damm that was some oldie Throwing
Report as inappropriate
Rip you and the rest singers should have not been on that plane rip to all of you.
Report as inappropriate
Una historia,en verdad muy bonita, dejó bonitos recuerdos.
Report as inappropriate
I watched you so so much and I love it and you
Report as inappropriate
So so tragic to lose such an icon in the early stages of rock n roll !!!
Report as inappropriate
Hmmmm...what could have been!
Report as inappropriate
i like your song�� u die so young��
Report as inappropriate
Who sings "my old mans a dustman"
Report as inappropriate
Hi. Tony Richel velesns
Muics. Like.
Report as inappropriate
Love Ritchie Valens!
Report as inappropriate
Ritchie vales Era yaqui Como yo alfred j. Lucero de scottsdale, arizona.
Report as inappropriate
robertaespar z a 5 9
His songs will live on forever Viva mr. Valence
Report as inappropriate
It is a shame. Ritchie valens had a great music gift
Report as inappropriate
God Bless Ritchie, You had a music gift few others will ever have!
Report as inappropriate
konda091
Ah! Pasado tantos años , tu música nunca se apagara ...
Tu estrella se apago muy pronto .
Report as inappropriate
mountndewme he was talking about the crash that killed Ritchie's friends. So, check your facts
Report as inappropriate
Siempre vivirás en los corazones. .❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Love the movie������� r . I . p
Report as inappropriate
remember it well, sad day lost three great Rock n Rollers.
Report as inappropriate
��
Report as inappropriate
La Bamba is 10 times more familiar to people than Donna is.....
Report as inappropriate
��
Report as inappropriate
��
Report as inappropriate
This. This is home.
Report as inappropriate
My mom loves this kind of music. My dad loved this music till the dead he died. They had me listen to this while I was growing up. Know I love I kind of music.
Report as inappropriate
esperanzakna p p
love u cousin R.I.P
Report as inappropriate
I love his music I been growing up with his music since my mom and dad like oldies turned my two older Siblings to listen to this type music and here I am listening to this type of music not the music from my generation I listen too but I love music from the 60's and etc. just oldies nothing more ❤️
Report as inappropriate
Love his music wane I was 7 years old and now I am 36 years old love it cool miss the class
Report as inappropriate
A great singer, a sad loss
Report as inappropriate
RIP bro
Report as inappropriate
Played his guitar that was in the plane crash. My mother knew his mother
Report as inappropriate
Gooo Ritchie!!! Rest in Peace sir...
Report as inappropriate
MERRY CHRISTMAS VALENS!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Yes im merry Christmas
Report as inappropriate
HOPE U R HAVING AS MUCH FUN AS ME HAHA
Report as inappropriate
mountndewme- Y o u ' r e confused
Report as inappropriate
His music lives on.
Report as inappropriate
Yeah in February 3 1959
Report as inappropriate
Ritchie valens
Report as inappropriate
R.i.p ritchie valens who died 2-3-1959 on a airplain crash
Report as inappropriate
He was the best of the best o yeaaaaaa
Show more

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

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).

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