Who was/is Trini Lopez ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Trini Lopez was born Trinidad López III on May 15, 1937 in Dallas, Texas. His father, Trinidad López II, worked as an actor and singer and taught him how to play the guitar while Trini was growing up in poverty with four sisters and a brother. He attended Dallas Elementary School and later N.R. Cro- zier Technical High School which he soon had to quit for work as his family needed financial support. After working as a busker on Dallas’ streets for a time, Lopez formed his own band and started to play clubs in Texas and New Mexico. At a gig in Wichita Falls, Trini met deejay Snuff Garrett, who introduced Trini to Buddy Holly. Through Holly, Trini met Hol- ly’s producer Norman Petty, which resulted only in a jam ses- sion at Petty’s Clovis studio (a dispute between Trini and his band at Petty’s studio resulted in Lopez not waxing any vo- cals; the band adopted the name of The Big Beats and cut several 45s for Columbia).
Trini started to write and perform his own songs, which came to the attention of John F. Sheffield, who was looking for artists he could record on his brand new label Volk Records, which he had established in June of ’58. He found Lopez and his band in a Dallas nightclub. Volk 101, The Right To Rock b/w Just Once More, was issued in August of 1958 and was the first release for both, artist and label. Sheffield worked hard to promote the record, managing to get a pop record review in the September 1, 1958 issue of ‘Billboard’ maga- zine. This attracted the interest of King Records in Cincinnati, Ohio; its owner Syd Nathan offered Lopez a three-year re- cording contract. Trini’s first King release came in January 1959.
Although Lopez made a slew of recordings for King, he didn’t score a hit and left when his contract ran out. Popular music was changing by then, and Trini Lopez started to concentrate on his folk music roots. Lopez signed a con- tract with Reprise Records in early 1963. It didn’t take long for Trini Lopez to sail up the charts with the help of producer Don Costa; his revival of Pete Seeger and Lee Hays’ If I Had A Hammer soared to #3 on ‘Billboard’s’ Hot 100 during the summer of 1963. Lopez placed thirteen Hot 100 hits in ‘Bill- board’ between 1963 and 1968. His LP ‘Trini Lopez at PJ’s’ went all the way to #2 on ‘Billboard’s’ pop album charts and became his best selling album. Lopez’s long stint with Re- prise Records lasted until 1970. Trini Lopez soon wanted a second string to his bow. He started acting in movie and TV roles, and his mentor was singer, actor, and founder of Reprise Records, Frank Sinatra. Lopez...
Marc Mittelacher in August 2020
© Bear Family Records®
The Right To Rock - The Mexicano And Chicano Rock'n'Roll Rebellion 1955-1963 (CD)
Copyright © Bear Family Records®. Copying, also of extracts, or any other form of reproduction, including the adaptation into electronic data bases and copying onto any data mediums, in English or in any other language is permissible only and exclusively with the written consent of Bear Family Records® GmbH.