Ritchie Valens, a true pioneer of the Chicano rock movement. On this day, in 1959, Ritchie performed the song ‘Ooh, My Head’ at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The same year, he left behind a few recordings that were later released as his first self-titled album.
Ritchie was a young legend whose life was cut short tragically. It is incredible to think that he was only 17 years old when he died. That he died so young is a loss that resonates with many of us today, over 60 years later. Can you imagine how much more legendary he could have been?
Despite his untimely death, Ritchie’s legacy lives on through his music. Many of us still enjoy listening to his songs, including ‘Come on, let’s go’, which is a personal favorite of mine. In addition, his music continues to inspire new generations of music lovers, thanks in part to the 1987 movie La Bamba, which introduced a new generation of music fans to his music. The movie featured Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie, and the band Los Lobos recorded the soundtrack.
As I stand here on this stage, I can feel the emotion and energy of the crowd as they sing along to his iconic hit, ‘Ooh, My Head’. The song’s upbeat tempo is contagious and gets the entire audience moving. Unsurprisingly, this song has stood the test of time and continues to be famous to this day.
Ritchie Valens was a talented young musician whose music continues to resonate with people from all walks of life. He left behind a legacy that will be cherished for generations to come. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch the video of his performance of ‘Ooh, My Head’ and share it with your friends because Ritchie’s music deserves to be heard by everyone.