Race and Music: Richie Valens Term Paper

Pages: 2 (537 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music


Although Keane encouraged the name change from Valenzuela Reyes to Valens, he wisely did not try to get his new acquisition to ignore his Latin heritage and agreed to release records which contained both English and Spanish language lyrics, a first for a semi-major record label.

Richie Valens' first singles were performed in English, but were infused with the sounds of his heritage by the use of traditionally Hispanic and Latin instruments in the background. However, his greatest hit was the result of a complete utilization of the culture and subsequent introduction of that culture to the Caucasian majority. Valens' most famous single, the hit song "La Bamba" was released entirely in Spanish and became the first Spanish-language song to reach the Billboard pop charts. Also, "La Bamba" is the only song in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time to be sung in a language other than English. "La Bamba" was a rerecording of a traditional Hispanic song from the Mexican state of Veracruz but with the infusion of the rock and roll sounds of the era, making it appealing to both Hispanic-Americans and the general public as well (Son Jarocho 2011).

Works Cited:

Lehmer, Larry (2004). The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper,

and Richie Valens. Schirmer: New York, NY.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Race and Music: Richie Valens Assignment

"Son Jarocho Music." (2011). National Geographic. Retrieved from http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/view/page.basic/genre/content.genre/son_jarocho_789/en_US
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