||From the Vault...
"The Best Of Ritchie Valens"
© Del-Fi Records
Year of Release: 1981
In A Turkish Town
Ooh My Head
Stay Beside Me
Come On Let's Go
We Belong Together
That's My Little Suzie
Ritchie Valens related sites:
"The Best Of Ritchie Valens"
We were fortunate to enjoy Ritchie Valens' music for only 8 months, before
his untimely death in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, with other rock and
roll stars Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson, aka "The Big Bopper." His most
biggest hit was "La Bamba," a song that keeps continuing to be performed
by many artists, of Latin/Spanish ethnic origins and others.
"Bluebirds Over The Mountain" and "In A Turkish Town"
displays the softer side of Valens' where his most popular soft ballad was
"Donna." The rocking "Ooh! My Head" is very different, having
the Little Richard feel, with the grit in his voice as Little Richard had
recorded this song. "Paddi-Wack Song" is another good Latin rock
to enjoy, where "Stay Beside Me" is another soft track, and can be
compared to the soft ballads of Ricky Nelson.
The familar music of "Malaguena" will easily be recognized by anyone
who has ever been to a baseball game. As this intstrumental has a very
impressive Latin flavor. "Framed" is another song that has been covered
by many artists (Bill Haley, Jerry Reed, Cheech & Chong); Valens' version has
a more bluesy feel. Like "La Bamba" and "Donna," "Come On Let's
Go" was another memorable song when the name Ritchie Valens is mentioned.
"Fast Freight" is another instrumental, having a surfing music style.
"We Belong Together" is a beautiful song, categorized in the early 1950s
doo-wop style, with Valens' Latin vocals, making it his own. Valens' continues
his own rocking Latin style on "That's My Little Suzie" and "Hurry
Up." The Ricky Nelson style is similar on "Little Girl," and
"Hi-Tone" is another good Valens upbeat song.
Del-Fi Records was the original label Valens recorded on, and there's a note
on this back of the CD, indicating that every attempt was made to present the
songs in their best form, due to some of the original tapes were lost. As far
as I know, these songs (especially the most popular) sound original as I can
remember, and although this particular CD is now out of print, there are other
compilations of Valens' music that has surfaced. There are only 16 songs on
The Best Of Ritchie Valens here, and I'm sure there are others with more, or
as close. In the short amount of time we had Ritchie Valens on this earth, his
music has inspired many in the decades that followed his death, and beyond.
As Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens' life was focused in the movie La Bamba,
starring Lou Diamond Phillips in the title role. (Gary Busey had played
Buddy Holly in the movie The Buddy Holly Story. There is a DVD double
feature of these two movies together, which is a treat to learn their lives
and music, despite the tragic ending that occured to their lives.
I have yet to see a movie on J.P. Richardson's life. His son, Jay Perry Richardson,
currently tours, and sings his father's songs. Jay Perry was born after his
father passed away. Jay invested his father's death, hearing internet rumors that
his father may have survived. Big Bopper's casket was exhumed, and an autopsy was
performed. It was revealed that the body inside the casket was that of his father.
UPDATE: Jay Perry Richardson passed away on August 21, 2013, at the age of
"La Bamba" is one of the most popular songs in Rock & Roll History. There
are more of Richie Valens' songs from his short life. We can only imagine what he could
have done, if he, Buddy, and Bopper hadn't taken that plane, and what other incredible
music they all could have recorded.
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