The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Ritchie Valens

Induction category: Performer


Inductee: Ritchie Valens (vocals, guitar; born May 13, 1941, died February 3, 1959) In the course of his short life, Ritchie Valens left a lasting impact on rock and roll with the classic rocker “La Bamba.” A high-energy reworking of an old Mexican wedding song, its driving simplicity foreshadowed garage-rock, frat-rock and punk-rock. Ironically, “La Bamba” was the B-side of “Donna,” a paean to Valens’ girlfriend that rose to #2 on Billboard’s singles chart. “La Bamba” also charted, peaking at #22. This double-sided smash is one of the greatest rock and roll singles of the Fifties. Valens was born Richard ...

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