Ritchie Valens' most popular songs

Ritchie Valens' most popular songs

Ritchie Valens recorded numerous hits during his short career before he died tragically in a plane crash. East Coast Gold looks at his biggest hits. 

Ritchie Valens

Richard Steven Valenzuela, professionally known as Ritchie Valens, would have turned 81 this Friday, 13 May. 

The rock and roll singer was born on 13 May 1941 in Pacoima, California. 

The star started his music career while he was still a teenager, joining a group called the Silhouettes. 

According to Biography.com, he made history as rock music's first Latino star. 

Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

He died at the tender age of 17 in a plane crash with his fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson.


This popular song is named after Ritchie's high school girlfriend Donna Ludwig, whose parents didn't want her to date the musician. 

It was released in 1958 under Del-Fi Records. 

The popular ballad was later covered by The Alligators with Eddie Ryan. 

La Bamba

La Bamba is a Mexican folk song. It is one of the most popular songs from Ritchie. He released it in 1958.

The song’s popularity has remained strong, having been covered by artists such as Los Lobos, Don Ho, and Dusty Springfield. 

It was the first Spanish-language song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. 

Listen to it below. 

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