RICHIE VALENCE – ROCK-N-ROLL STAR
A simple American guy Richie Valens (his real name is Richard Esteban Valenzuela Reyes) was born on May 13, 1941 in the city of Pacoima, located in California. When he was three years old, his parents divorced. After this event, for a while, Richie lived with his father, who was a professional guitarist.
Richie learned to play the Spanish guitar from him. This happened when the boy was only six years old. And at the age of nine, although Richie was left-handed, he did a good job with this tool. But in 1951, his father died, and Richie went to live with his mother. It should be said that the Valenzuelan family was large, and Richie took his aunt under his care. This care had a beneficial effect on the future work of Richie, because it was the aunts who introduced him to Mexican folk music. At the same time, he began to get involved in songs in the country style, which sometimes slipped on the radio.
Richie became interested in playing the guitar seriously, and never parted with her. He played the guitar at breaks, arranged small concerts for his classmates. Ritchie wrote the first guitar compositions by the age of twelve, and by the age of thirteen he was able to acquire an electric guitar with an amplifier. In the mid-50s, Richie became seriously addicted to the blues. But the future star understood her calling only after attending Little Richard’s concert, as a result of which he became interested in rock and roll. After that, soon Richie played in the band The Silhoutttes. The popularity of this group brought performances at school evenings. The rumor about The Silhoutttes reached the neighboring quarters, but she got real popularity after Richie’s mother, who received insurance after her husband’s death, rented a small room where the group successfully began performing at music evenings.
More and more young people learned about it, popularity began to grow, and soon the whole city already knew about the group The Silhoutttes. At one of these concerts, the owner of a small record company Del-Fi Records, Bob Keane, came to that. At one time, he worked as a conductor of a dance orchestra, and immediately drew attention to a talented guitarist, inviting him to audition.
As a result of this audition, a contract was signed. Having become the manager of a talented guy, Bob Keane shortened, in his opinion, the surname Valenzuela to the surname Valens, which sounded more familiar to Americans.