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La Bamba

If there was one song that got my attention right away it was “La Bamba”. The bad part was that it’s so catchy and has a fantastic beat that once I heard it, it just kept playing right on in my mind. I’m so glad that this song is still around to be enjoyed. The song was made popular by rising rock star Ritchie Valens whose life was cut short in a tragic plane crash which also killed two other rock greats Buddy Holly and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson on February 3, 1959.

Thirty years later on August 29, 1987, Valens song “La Bamba” performed by the band Los Lobos hit number one on the pop charts. The band comes from Valens hometown Los Angeles, California. Valens was born Richard Stevens Valenzuela and he was just a San Fernando Valley high school student and 17 years old when he created “La Bamba”. The song was adapted from a traditional folk song that came from Veracruz, Mexico.

It started its climb on the Billboard pop chart in January of 1959 and became the biggest Spanish language rock hit in history. The amazing thing was that Valens himself didn’t speak a word of Spanish. His life having been cut so tragically short many people who loved the song didn’t actually know the singer. Valens became known when Hollywood released a movie about his life titled “La Bamba” and in turn, this song became a very big hit. Los Lobos was the band chosen to record the soundtrack to the movie which also included another popular hit “Come on Let’s Go”.

 I have included the original La Bamba by Ritchie Valens and the other video is Come on Let’s Go by Los Lobos. The thumbnail photo is of Valens.


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  1. When I was young, I used to enjoy listening to the song though up to now I have never had an inkling what the song is talking about. I love the beat. If I may ask, what is the song talking about?

    • So you could understand I got the explanation online. Basically, it is a dance and here is the information about it.

      The traditional aspect of “La Bamba” lies in the tune, which remains almost the same through most versions. The name of the dance, which has no direct English translation, is presumably connected with the Spanish verb bambolear, meaning “to shake” or perhaps “to stomp”.


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