Sharing my love for the first decade of rock and roll!
Ritchie Valens, the first Latino musician to cross over into the mainstream, was a pioneer of Chicano rock and Latin rock, inspiring numerous Latin musicians, such as Carlos Santana and Los Lobos. In addition to his heritage, Valens’ guitar skills influenced a plethora of six-stringers, including Jimi Hendrix and Chris Montez.
Valens’ major hits include, “La Bamba,” “Donna,” and “Come On Let’s Go.”
Valens was killed after a concert in Clear Lake, Iowa, along with fellow artists Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, as well as pilot Roger Peterson in 1959.
Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed when their plane crashed during an ice storm. The three musicians were on the Winter Dance party tour. They typically took a chartered bus from one city to the next, but the freezing weather made the rides cold an uncomfortable, with some performers suffering from frostbite and pneumonia as a result. After playing a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly decided to charter a plane to the next venue, rather than take the bus. The small plane took off late a night in a snowstorm under poor visibility, crashing into a cornfield soon after takeoff. The three musicians, along with pilot Roger Peterson, were killed instantly.
Taken From: This Day in History by Jim Daley; Copyright 2019; Publications International, LTD