Today’s the day the music – and Ritchie Valens – died

newspaperToday marks the sad anniversary of “the day the music died,” the February 3, 1959 airplane crash that took the lives of rock stars Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

Valens, from the L.A. suburb of Pacoima, was born Richard Steven Valenzuela and some consider him the father of Chicano rock. Pocho Valens didn’t espeak Espanish, so he sang the lyrics to La Bamba from a phonetic cheat sheet.

Click for music videos of Chantilly Lace from the Bopper, Peggy Sue by Holly and the actual Valens La Bamba recording sessions, plus a Don McLean performance of The Day the Music Died.

Mas…Today’s the day the music – and Ritchie Valens – died

My SUNY Senior Thesis: Ritchie Valens and the Creation of Chicano Rock

ritchiestamp640[Editor's Note: When we shared our Happy Birthday Ritchie Valens story on Facebook last Friday, FB user Danna Carina commented, "Ritchie was the subject of my senior thesis and I graduated with my Bachelors yesterday ON HIS BIRTHDAY. Good omen I suppose!"

We wanted to see what she wrote, and to share it with you.

She agreed, and noted, "Writing this paper was a very intimate and intellectual experience, so it makes me very happy to share it with Pocho.com and the Chicano community."

Thank you, Danna Carina, and congratulations on your graduation from SUNY Purchase.]

Mas…My SUNY Senior Thesis: Ritchie Valens and the Creation of Chicano Rock

Today is the day the music (and Ritchie Valens) died

newspaperToday marks the sad anniversary of “the day the music died,” the February 3, 1959 airplane crash that took the lives of rock stars Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

Valens, from the L.A. suburb of Pacoima, was born Richard Steven Valenzuela and some consider him the father of Chicano rock. Pocho Valens didn’t espeak Espanish, so he sang the lyrics to La Bamba from a phonetic cheat sheet.

Click for music videos of Chantilly Lace from the Bopper, Peggy Sue by Holly and the actual Valens La Bamba recording sessions, plus a Don McLean performance of The Day the Music Died.

Mas…Today is the day the music (and Ritchie Valens) died

Happy Birthday Ritchie Valens, Pocho Pride of Pacoima (music videos)

bigritchievalensHappy birthday, dead Ritchie Valens, born this day in 1941.

Valens, from the L.A. suburb of Pacoima, was born Richard Steven Valenzuela and some consider him the father of Chicano rock.

Pocho Valens didn’t espeak Espanish, so he sang the lyrics to his biggest hit record from a phonetic cheat sheet.

And then he died.

For your Ritchie-listening pleasure, we are pleased to feature two versions of La Bamba, the original 1958 “keep the tape running” recording sessions, and then the actual hit record.

Everybody scream now:

RITCHIE!!!!

Mas…Happy Birthday Ritchie Valens, Pocho Pride of Pacoima (music videos)

Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Flight Officer Mel Krupke

captainkrupkeThey were ordinary people living ordinary lives, until one singular sensation of circumstances conspired with fate to make them UNSUNG HEROES OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Commercial pilot Flight Officer Mel Krupke’s wings iced up on Feb. 3, 1959, near Clear Lake, Iowa, sending his light plane, carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, crashing into the frozen earth.

Mas…Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Flight Officer Mel Krupke

Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Mel Krupke

They were ordinary people living ordinary lives, until one singular sensation of circumstances conspired with fate to make them UNSUNG HEROES OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Commercial pilot Mel Krupke’s wings iced up on Feb. 3, 1959, near Clear Lake, Iowa, sending his light plane, carrying Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, crashing into the frozen earth. The fatal crash was immortalized in song as The Day the Music Died.

With one crash, Flight Officer Krupke (1925-1959) catapulted Pacoima pocho Valens into eternal celebrity and helped launch the careers of Hispanic heart throbs Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales.

Mas…Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Mel Krupke

Remembering Ritchie Valens, superstar pocho pride of Pacoima

Not a sailor

Today marks the sad anniversary of “the day the music died,” the 1959 airplane crash that took the lives of rock stars Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

Valens, from the L.A. suburb of Pacoima, was born Richard Steven Valenzuela and some consider him the father of Chicano rock. Pocho Valens didn’t espeak Espanish, so he sang the lyrics to La Bamba from a phonetic cheat sheet.

Click for music videos of Chantilly Lace from the Bopper, Peggy Sue by Holly and the actual Valens La Bamba recording sessions, plus a Don McLean performance of The Day the Music Died.

Mas…Remembering Ritchie Valens, superstar pocho pride of Pacoima