Ritchie Valens (Richard Steven Valenzuela; May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. He scored several hits, most notably "La Bamba", an original Mexican folk song that Valens transformed with a rock rhythm and beat that became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. However his 'Bambastic' success was short lived with only a period of eight months recording. On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as The Day the Music Died, Valens perished in an ill fated small-plane crash in Iowa at the age of 18. The air crash also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.
La Bamba (1987) is an American biographical film written and directed by Luis Valdez. The picture features Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, among others. The drama is based on the real life events that affected the lives of rock star Ritchie Valens, his half-brother Bob Morales, his girlfriend Donna Ludwig and the rest of their families. [Wikipedia]