August 17, 2012 |
In 1958, San Fernando Valley native Ritchie Valens climbed the U.S. pop charts with a butt-kicking little tune called "La Bamba. " According to the song's Spanish-language lyrics, dancing to it properly required "a little grace" and a little bit of something else. Few teenagers bopping to "La Bamba" probably realized they were jumping around to a rock-a-fied version of son jarocho , a structurally elegant but high-spirited fusion of Afro-Caribbean beats and often wise-cracking wordplay on timely political topics.
July 22, 2012 |
Lou Diamond Phillips is having a very good year. It's long overdue. In the 25 years since he burst onto the big screen as singer Ritchie Valens in "La Bamba," LDP (as he is often referred to) has been working nonstop, though sometimes a bit under the radar. But in January, his independent film "Filly Brown"had its premiere to rave reviews at the Sundance film festival. A guest appearance as a hot-headed cop on"Southland" left the door open for future episodes, and a hosting gig on the Military Channel's "An Officer and a Movie" propelled the little cable channel that began in 2005 to its best quarter ever.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 2009 |
Bob Keane, who founded the West Coast independent label Del-Fi Records in the 1950s and is best known for discovering and recording rock legend Ritchie Valens, has died. He was 87. Keane, who survived non- Hodgkins lymphoma diagnosed when he was 80, died of renal failure Saturday in an assisted living home in Hollywood, said his son, Tom Keane. "He was like the original independent record man in those days," said Tom Keane, a songwriter and record producer. "He was the guy going out and finding talent and developing it and getting it out to the masses."
February 12, 2009 |
It isn't often that a Hollywood eminence sets out to make a film but winds up doing it as a stage musical instead. But that's what's happened for Taylor Hackford. The director, known for his biographical features about Chuck Berry ("Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll"), Ritchie Valens ("La Bamba") and Ray Charles ("Ray"), had a vision for another '50s-rooted showbiz saga, about the Las Vegas lounge duo Louis Prima and Keely Smith. It will take shape in the first professional public stage-directing gig of his career: a retooled version of "Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara," which was a critical and box office hit last year in two local 99-seat houses: Sacred Fools Theater and the Matrix Theatre.
October 1, 1993 |
Despite its location near the summit of Burbank's wind-swept Glenoaks Boulevard, La Bamba fancies itself as an island restaurant. Go figure. Oh, the menu does read like an index of tropical place names--Key Largo chicken, St. Thomas burrito, Panama shrimp and other equatorial-sounding nibbles. Plus, it's fun to sip the various licuados --tropical milkshakes made from such fruits as mamey, papaya and mango--out here on La Bamba's terraced outdoor patio.
October 29, 1992 |
Some rock bands love success so much that, having grasped it once, they'll try time and again to repeat the magic formula. Good bands know they have to move on. Los Lobos' chance to make a bargain with the devil came in 1987, when the Los Angeles band scored a surprise hit with a remake of Ritchie Valens' rocked-up rendition of the Mexican folk tune "La Bamba."