Biography Richard Steven "Ritchie" Valenzuela (May 13, 1941 to February 3, 1959), better known by his stage name Ritchie Valens, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted only eight months. During this time, however, he scored several hits, most notably "Donna" which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart; and, the flip side "La Bamba", which was originally a Mexican folk song that Valens transformed with a rock rhythm and beat. Both songs charted in early 1959 making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as The Day the Music Died, Valens was killed in a small-plane crash in Iowa, USA, an event that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.

Ritchie Valens Lost Tapes
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