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Ritchie Valens

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 1996
I am so surprised and shocked that Ritchie Valens has had no lovely thing of his own done for him. I am 85, will be 86 June 11. I remember him well. I was helping to do a carnival to raise money for the YMCA. I was looking for entertainment at the time. My son Paul told me about him. One afternoon he came to the Y and we talked about an hour. I said I would love to have him come and sing for us. He told me he would love to, but there was something he had to do that day. He spoke about his family, and he said if he made it he was going to buy his mom a house.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 6, 2011 | By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
What possible impact could a young pop musician make if given just 18 months to carve out a career? Only the most dreamy-eyed optimist could think of placing 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, much less scoring induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and continuing to win fans among new generations of musicians and listeners more than a half-century later. Yet that's what Buddy Holly accomplished in his short time in the spotlight, from the day he first entered the national sales charts on Aug. 12, 1957, with "That'll Be the Day" until the plane crash on Feb. 3, 1959, that took his life at age 22 along with those of Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper (J.P.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 1987 | GREGG BARRIOS
"I still remember the first time we heard Ritchie sing on the radio," the mother of the late Latino rock 'n' roller Ritchie Valens recalled about that distant day, almost 30 years ago. "I told his brother Bob, come on, let's go to Saugus. I had some business there. I had a 1950 Olds then. The body wasn't too good, but I paid $50 for each tire and I bought five. I pulled over to the side of the road when 'Come On, Let's Go' came on the radio. We just sat there looking at each other amazed."
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2011
Charlie Sheen is in rehab, but that hasn't stopped him from issuing a statement comparing himself to Errol Flynn and apparently texting E! ( Los Angeles Times, E! ) Meanwhile, Sheen's home rehab program continues to stir debate. ( ABC News ) Add Mick Jagger to the lineup of Grammy-night performers -- his first live performance at the awards ceremony. ( Los Angeles Times ) Natalie Portman has Oscar and a baby on her mind. (Note: Statuette is not suitable for children under age 3.)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 1996 | TIM MAY
Pacoima's own rock 'n' roll legend, Ritchie Valens, will be remembered Saturday1 at a special birthday celebration to include carnival rides, games, food and music performed by relatives of the late singer-guitarist. The event, sponsor by the office of Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alarcon, who represents the area, will be held at the former Paxton Park & Recreation Center, which the council renamed Ritchie Valens Park in 1994.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 1998 | TOM BECKER
Almost 40 years after his death, the music of Ritchie Valens lives on in his hometown. On Friday and Saturday, half a dozen bands, including one featuring Valens' nephew Ernie Valens, will pay tribute to the late rock star's style and spirit at the fourth annual Ritchie Valens Festival at the Pacoima park named for him. "It's a day to appreciate the positive role model that Ritchie Valens was and to celebrate his music," said Councilman Richard Alarcon, one of the organizers of the event.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2006
Ritchie Valens, Pacoima's favorite son and America's first Latino rock star, died in the Iowa plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and J.P. ("the Big Bopper") Richardson. Valens was 17. He made his first records the year before his death. His single "C'mon, Let's Go" reached No. 42 on the national charts in 1958. He followed it up with "Donna," written for Donna Ludwig, a girlfriend at San Fernando High School.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 1989
The late rock legend and Pacoima native Ritchie Valens will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce officials said Wednesday. Valens, who attended San Fernando High School, rose to fame with the 1950s hits "Come On, Let's Go," "Donna," and a rock-and-roll version of the Latino folk song "La Bamba." He died at age 17 in a 1959 Iowa plane crash.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 1990
Ritchie Valens, the 1960s singer who died in a plane crash just as his career was blossoming, will be honored May 11 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Valens, who became a superstar with "La Bamba" and "Oh Donna," will be the first Latino rock and roll artist to receive a star. The ceremony will be followed by a tribute at the Country Club to benefit the Pacoima Boys and Girls Club in Valens' hometown. His life was chronicled in the recent movie, "La Bamba."
NEWS
May 4, 1989
Ritchie Valens, of "La Bamba" fame, would have been proud. More than 100 talented Latino youths competed for $5,000 in Youth Opportunities Foundation music scholarships named in memory of the rock star who died in a 1959 plane crash. Competitors ranging from operatic vocalists to punk-rock guitarists performed in two categories. Sharing first-place honors in the 15-18-year-old division were clarinetist Olivia Luna, 15, of Los Angeles, and flutist Ruben Rivas, 18, of Bell. A 13-year-old violinist, Michael Gutierrez of Arcadia, captured first place in the 10-14-year-old class.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 2009 | Dennis McLellan
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 2009 | Reed Johnson
More than half a century has elapsed since Pacoima's own Ritchie Valens and Lubbock, Texas, native son Buddy Holly died in a small-plane crash with the Big Bopper and their pilot while touring the Midwest. But their legacy as two of rock 'n' roll's founding blood brothers rumbled on in Sunday night's Greek Theatre double bill of Chicano elder statesmen Los Lobos and Tex-Mex blues belters Los Lonely Boys. Suave and stately as a '64 Impala lowrider, Los Lobos closed its rich, retrospective set with "La Bamba," the traditional son jarocho folk tune that Valens transformed into a Top 40 classic by injecting a rock beat.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2009 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Starting today, thousands of people are expected to gather in Clear Lake, Iowa, to note the 50th anniversary of what songwriter Don McLean famously called "the day the music died": the plane crash that claimed the lives of 22-year-old Buddy Holly, 28-year-old J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson and 17-year-old Ritchie Valens. They'll come to the Surf Ballroom for symposiums with the musicians' relatives, sold-out concerts and a ceremony as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame designates the building as its ninth national landmark.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2006
Ritchie Valens, Pacoima's favorite son and America's first Latino rock star, died in the Iowa plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and J.P. ("the Big Bopper") Richardson. Valens was 17. He made his first records the year before his death. His single "C'mon, Let's Go" reached No. 42 on the national charts in 1958. He followed it up with "Donna," written for Donna Ludwig, a girlfriend at San Fernando High School.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2001 | MASSIE RITSCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Fans and family of Ritchie Valens packed a recreation center Sunday to celebrate his recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the culmination of the community's long campaign to honor Pacoima's favorite son and America's first Latino rock star.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2001 | KEVIN RODERICK, Kevin Roderick is Los Angeles bureau chief for Industry Standard magazine. His book, "The San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb," will be published in June by Los Angeles Times Books
So many stars have made the San Fernando Valley their home that it's easy to become jaded here by brushes with celebrity. In the Northridge neighborhood where I grew up, my pals liked to pedal our Schwinns up Louise Avenue and sneak a look through the fence at Jim Davis, the star of our favorite TV show "Rescue 8." Jim didn't get the fame we thought he deserved until he portrayed the gruff oilman Jock Ewing on "Dallas." Everyone I knew claimed some star as their neighbor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 1994 | JEFF SCHNAUFER
Fans of the late rock 'n' roll legend Ritchie Valens are invited to Pacoima on Saturday to celebrate the dedication of the Ritchie Valens Recreation Center. The event, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., renames Paxton Park after Ritchie, a Pacoima native. The park is located at 10736 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Expected to appear at the ribbon-cutting ceremony are family members of Ritchie's, along with Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, who proposed the name change in June.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 31, 1987 | STEVE HOCHMAN
La Bamba or La Bomb -a? You had to wonder beforehand whether Saturday night's "Tribute to the Legend of Ritchie Valens" at Burbank's Starlight Amphitheatre was a legitimate salute to a local hero or a shameless ride on the coattails of a hit movie. After all, the print ads for the show featured the names of Lou Diamond Phillips, the actor who played Valens in the film, and Valens' original record producer Bob Keane in bigger type than that of Valens himself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2001
Ritchie Valens, the Pacoima native who recorded such pop hits as "La Bamba" in an abbreviated career, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday. Valens became the last of three rockers killed in a 1959 plane crash to join the Hall of Fame. Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson ("The Big Bopper") were the others. Voters had snubbed Valens in previous years, despite letter-writing campaigns by Valley fans.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2001 | ERNESTO LECHNER, Ernesto Lechner is a regular contributor to Calendar
When 17-year-old Ritchie Valens died with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper in an Iowa plane crash in 1959, the pop world was left with two intriguing questions. The first is the easy one: What kind of future would Valens--who already had three hits, including "Donna" and "La Bamba," in his short, eight-month career--have had if he hadn't made the last-minute decision to take the plane rather than ride the tour bus to the next city?
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