May 26, 2024

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Song of the day for February 2, 2024

1 min read
Today marks the anniversary of Richie Valens' last performance at the Surf Ballroom before his untimely death in the 1959 plane crash that also took Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. A rock and Chicano music pioneer, Valens was known for hits like "La Bamba" and "Donna" before his career was cut short at age 17. He's commemorated in multiple Halls of Fame and by a Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper (L-R)

Today’s song is Come On Let’s Go by Richie Valens.

It was on this day in 1959 that Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens all played there last shows at the Surf Ballroom, in Clear Lake, Iowa. All three acts were tragically killed in a plane crash the next day.

Valens had several hits, most notably “La Bamba”, which he had adapted from a Mexican folk song. Valens transformed the song into one with a rock rhythm and beat, and it became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. He also had an American number-two hit with “Donna”.

On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as “The Day the Music Died”. Valens died in a plane crash in Iowa. The crash also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson. Valens was 17 years old at the time of his death. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, The Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame, The California Hall of Fame, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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