Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Ritchie Valens: The Young Singer Who Pioneered Chicano Rock

Martin Hawkins, History of Rock, The, March 1982

WHEN ROCK'N'ROLL first stopped calling itself rhythm and blues in the mid Fifties, it became a young man's game. Teenage performers like Ritchie Valens began to influence the course of popular music; his double-sided smash hit 'Donna'/'La Bamba' dominated the charts in December 1958. But, unlike rock'n'roll, Ritchie Valens did not survive to face the Sixties.

Total word count of piece: 1183