Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens

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Ritchie Valens was born on 13 May, 1941 in Pacoima, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. His real name was Richard Valenzuela. At nine years of age he got his first (Spanish) guitar. As a twelve year old Ritchie had already written several songs, most of which were inspired by Mexican music. He also displayed considerable singing talent, and became a feature at school assemblies singing and playing the guitar.

When Ritchie was seventeen he was spotted by Bob Keene, president of Del Fi Records in Hollywood, and offered recording contract. Bob Keene also became his manager.

His first single, the self-penned tune 'Come On Let's Go', sold 750,000 copies and earned him quite a reputation among teenagers all over the country.

Shortly after this, he wrote a song for his high school sweetheart, Donna Ludwig. The song 'Donna' was recorded and rapidly made the 1958 hit charts. It became his biggest all-time hit and first million seller it was a two-sided hit and the f lip side 'La Bamba' was a traditional Spanish song which Ritchie sang in Spanish after adding a rock'n'roll beat to it. That song was also a million seller.

Ritchie was the first Mexican-Amercan singer to make it, and was a hero to MexicanAmerican communities, just a young boy but a hero.

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