Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens


Ritchie Valens
Music: North side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Richard Steven Valenzuela on May 13, 1941 in Pacoima, CA
Died Feb. 3, 1959 of plane crash in Mason City, IA

Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson and Buddy Holly were three of the brightest stars in the world of slam-bang rock 'n' roll music. They had shot to prominence in a matter of months and had wide and enthusiastic followings among the nation's teenagers.

If they hadn't got tired of overnight "bus hops," the singers would not have died. They were killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa.

Although all three were rated of equal stature in the rock 'n' roll world, Valens, a young sensation from Pacoima, was rapidly becoming one of the hottest singing talents in the country.

When his manager, Bob Keene, heard the news of the crash, he mourned, "Everybody was saying he was the next Presley."

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