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Ritchie Valens The Lost Tapes

The Lost Tapes
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(1992/ACE) 40 tracks from De-Fi masters with 8 page booklet - last copies ! more

Ritchie Valens: The Lost Tapes

(1992/ACE) 40 tracks from De-Fi masters with 8 page booklet - last copies !

Article properties: Ritchie Valens: The Lost Tapes

Valens, Ritchie - The Lost Tapes CD 1
01 We Belong Together Ritchie Valens
02 Blues With Drum Ritchie Valens
03 Ritchie's Blues Ritchie Valens
04 Come On Let's Go Ritchie Valens
05 In A Turkish Town Ritchie Valens
06 Dooby Dooby Wah Ritchie Valens
07 Bluebirds Over The Mountain Ritchie Valens
08 That's My Little Suzie Ritchie Valens
09 Let's Rock And Roll Ritchie Valens
10 Donna 1 Ritchie Valens
11 Donna 2 Ritchie Valens
12 Blues Instrumental Ritchie Valens
13 Cry Cry Cry 1 Ritchie Valens
14 Cry Cry Cry 2 Ritchie Valens
15 Malguana Ritchie Valens
16 Blues Slow Ritchie Valens
17 Stay Beside Me Ritchie Valens
18 Rhythm Song Ritchie Valens
19 Guitar Instrumental Ritchie Valens
20 Rock Lil Darlin' Ritchie Valens
21 Cry Cry Cry (4 versions) Ritchie Valens
22 Dooby Dooby Wah (takes 1,2,4,7, false starts, Ritchie Valens
23 In A Turkish Town (take 13 false start, take Ritchie Valens
24 La Bamba (takes 1,2,5,8) Ritchie Valens
25 Bluebirds Over The Mountain (take 1, false st Ritchie Valens
26 That's My Little Suzie (take 1, false start, Ritchie Valens
27 Ooh, My Head Ritchie Valens
28 Ritchie Valens Commercial (Donna) Ritchie Valens
Ritchie Valens Ritchie Valens, who became the first major star of Chicano rock and roll in... more
"Ritchie Valens"

Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens, who became the first major star of Chicano rock and roll in Southern California, was born Richard Steven Valenzuela in Pacoima, San Fernando Valley (near Los An- geles), on May 13, 1941. His parents, of Mexican descent, separated when Richard was only three years old. He grew up with his father listening to Mariachi music, flamenco gui- tar, and rhythm and blues. His father encouraged his musical ambitions and Richard started playing guitar at a young age, as well as trumpet and drums. After his father’s sudden death in 1951, Richard returned to his mother’s home in Pacoima. He attended Pacoima Junior High School at age 13, where he entertained his schoolmates with his guitar. It was during this time that he began to develop his distinctive style, impro- vising words and melodies and seldom playing a song the same way twice.

Record producers would later remark that Ritchie played a song different every time. Valenzuela became a huge Little Richard fan when the rock and roll craze began. He joined a local band called The Sil- houettes as their guitarist but soon became their lead singer. His high-energy performances inspired by Richard’s rock and roll hero earned him the nickname ‘The Little Richard of the Valley.’ Those performances came to the attention of Del-Fi label boss Bob Keane, who recognized Richard’s star quality and signed him to a contract in May of 1958. On Keane’s recommendation, Valenzuela shortened his name to a more commercial-sounding Ritchie Valens. Valens’ first Del-Fi sin- gle Come On Let’s Go almost reached ‘Billboard’s‘ Top 40, peaking at #42 in September of 1958. Tommy Steele cov- ered the song for the British market. Only two months later, Valens hit it big with La Bamba b/w Donna, peaking at #22 (La Bamba) and #2 (Donna) on ‘Bill- board’s‘ Top 100. This huge success made Ritchie the first international Chicano star almost overnight.

He quit high school and made numerous television appearances, including Dick Clark’s ‘American Bandstand,’ and Alan Freed’s Christmas show. More recording sessions for Del-Fi and an appearance in the rock and roll film ‘Go, Johnny, Go’ fol- lowed. The fateful ‘Winter Dance Party’ tour of the Midwest started in early 1959, along with Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Dion and The Belmonts, and Frankie Sardo, among others. Poor climate conditions on the tour bus led Valens, Holly, and The Big Bopper to charter a plane after their gig in Clear Lake, Iowa. The plane crashed into a snowy field shortly af- ter takeoff, killing all on board. Valens was only 17 years old. Although Donna was Valens’ biggest hit, he is most remem- bered for his rockin’ version of the Mexican folk song La Bamba; three decades later it was the title of a movie about his life.

Recorded by Los Lobos for the movie, it reached top positions on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and brought Ritchie‘s name back into the public consciousness in the 1980s. Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not bad for a youngster from the San Fernando Valley whose career lasted only eight months...

Marc Mittelacher in August 2020

© Bear Family Records®
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Various Artists
The Right To Rock - The Mexicano And Chicano Rock'n'Roll Rebellion 1955-1963 (CD)

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