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Forever young: Ritchie Valens would have turned 78 this year
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty
Ritchie Valens (13 May 1941 – 3 February 1959)
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Ritchie Valens Remembered

Young rocker perished alongside Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper 60 years ago

The plane crash that took the life of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and others was, of course, a tragedy, but Ritchie Valens’ demise on 3 February 1959 in the same crash was particularly sad. The young rocker had only eight months to record his entire works, beginning for the Del-Fi label producer Bob Keane in May of 1958, but after three indelible hits — Come On, Let’s Go and the blockbuster double-sided pairing of Donna and La Bamba — Valens was on the cusp of superstardom at the age of just 17.

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