CAIRO – 29 August 2017: August 29 marks the day that the Los Lobos cover of Ritchie Valens’s classic 'La Bamba' soars to the Billboard's #1 in 1987, a small bit of peace to what was a tragic end for singer Valens.
At the young age of 17, Valens had managed to transform a traditional Venezuelan song, ‘La Bamba,’ into a hit rock n roll song, which would become the world's biggest rock song in Spanish despite the fact that Valens didn't even know the language - he had to be coached on it.
It reached #22 on the Billboard chart in January 1959, and it seemed that Valens was on his way to becoming a shining new star in music history, were it not for the tragic events of Feburary 3, 1959 in what became known as "The Day Music died."
On that date, Valens, alongside fellow performers Buddy Holly, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson climbed on board of a plane set to land for their next tour, which they never made it to; all three along with the pilot died in a plane crash.
On 1987, the Californian band Los Lobos signed on to adapt 'La Bamba' in their own style, which became part of the soundtrack for that year's film adaptation of Valens’s life, titled after the song that made him famous, 'La Bamba.’
The film and Los Lobos' cover proved to be such a success that the song was propelled to Billboard Magazine's #1 spot on its Hot 100 chart. Knowing this, Valens himself would have surely been proud.
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