Richie Valens' Last Will and Testament | Powers Neal
Ritchie Valens' high school sweetheart still vividly remembers the moment in the fall of when she first heard the ballad “Donna” that Valens had written for her. Yet her relationship with Valens continues to affect her life, she said, and she's still close to Valens' four siblings. The Trust Project Logo. On Feburary 2, , rock and roll legend Richie Valens was killed in a plane crash in Iowa. Also on board were Buddy Holly and The Big. If all you know about Ritchie Valens is that he had a big hit with ``La Bamba`` and the memory of her son for years; at first, she wasn`t sure she could trust us. bittersweet relationship with his high school sweetheart, Donna.
Black and white photos found in taken by Mary Gerber on February 2,which are on display at the Surf Ballroom show Buddy Holly playing drums for Dion as Dion's drummer had frostbitten feet. Valens was on the plane because he won a coin toss with Holly's backup guitarist Tommy Allsup. Holly's bassist, Waylon Jenningsvoluntarily gave up his seat on the plane to J. Richardsonwho was ill with the flu.
The crash killed all three passengers and pilot Roger Peterson instantly upon impact. As with Holly and Richardson, Valens suffered massive and unsurvivable head injuries along with blunt force trauma to the chest. At just 17 years old, Valens was the youngest to die in the crash. Legacy[ edit ] Photo of the airplane crash in Iowa Valens was a pioneer of Chicano rock and Latin rock and inspired many musicians of Mexican heritage.
He influenced the likes of Los LobosLos Lonely Boysand Carlos Santanaas he had become nationally successful at a time when very few Latinos were in American rock and pop music. He is considered the first Latino to successfully cross over into mainstream rock. Ironically, the Valenzuela family spoke only English at home, and he knew very little Spanish. Valens learned the lyrics phonetically to record "La Bamba" in Spanish.
Robert Quine has cited Valens' guitar playing as an early influence on his style. Valens' mother, Connie, who died inis buried alongside him.
Primarily set init depicted Valens from age 16 to It introduced Lou Diamond Phillips as Valens. Los Lobos performed most of the music in the film. He was also featured in the film The Day the Music Died The novelization by Ron De Christiforo of the film Grease is set around the time of Valens' death. In one of the earlier chapters, the gang sits around in Sonny's basement, upset at the death of some of their favorite stars in the plane crash.
Ritchie Valens - Wikipedia
Tributes[ edit ] Monument at crash site in InKen Paquette, a Wisconsin fan of the s era, erected a stainless-steel monument depicting a steel guitar and a set of three records bearing the names of each of the three performers killed in the accident. He also created a similar stainless-steel monument to the three musicians that was installed near the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay, Wisconsin. That memorial was unveiled on July 17, Originally named Paxton Park, a city council member representing Pacoima proposed the renaming to honor Valens so residents will "remember his humble background and emulate his accomplishments.
The club was named for the fateful coin toss between Valens and him twenty years prior. It did not credit Valens or Bob Keaneinstead crediting Valens' mother. Eventually, a lawsuit was filed by Keane, and half of the award went to Valens' mother, although she was not part of the suit.
A star baring his name was unveiled on the Hollywood walk of fame.
The event lasted one week and had performances that honored the memories of the three men. Family members and friends of the stars made appearances. Their legacies live on through events such as these.
Inartist Manuel Velasquez assisted by 25 students created a 12 foot by 20 foot mural which was painted on the side of a classroom building at the former Pacoima Junior High now Pacoima Middle School depicting Ritchie Valens' image, records labeled with some of his greatest hits, as well as the newspaper article about the plane crash that took his life.
A monument has also been built as a tribute. The Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway is located between the and freeways. Replicas of the freeway sign were revealed at the celebration. The performers were shuttled from venue to venue on school buses that lacked heat in the bitterly cold Midwest weather.
A number of the performers caught colds and one was even hospitalized for frostbite. The performers actually started fires in trash cans on the bus just to keep warm.
With a packed schedule, the performers where often on the road all night in below zero conditions.Richie Valens - Donna - La Bamba
Finally, Buddy Holly had enough. He asked his manager if a plane could be chartered to the next show in Fargo, North Dakota.
The Big Bopper talked Jennings out of his seat, and Valens flipped a coin with Allsup for the final seat. Richie won the toss. Ironically, Valens had a fear of flying.
Richie Valens’ Last Will and Testament
The plane crashed five miles outside of the airport. The devastated public demanded to know why the plane crash. However, the young pilot, Roger Peterson, had recently failed his instrument test that would have permitted him to fly on instruments alone, instead of sight. Other pilots also recalled that Peterson also became confused easily and would have been a dangerous flight for Peterson.
So why would Peterson make the flight? One theory was that Peterson was overcome with admiration for his superstar passengers. The crew cleaning up after the crash found the site littered with candy bars. Rumors abounded that one of the stars had run out of drugs and feigning for a fix.
Another later discovery rocked the community.