This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Happy Ritchie Valens Day!
On the heels of the Grammy Museum's attendance spike--thanks to their Michael Jackson exhibit--today its operators and curators celebrated, along with City Councilmembers Richard Alarcon, Tom LaBonge and Jan Perry, the declaration of the first Ritchie Valens Day.
For the past 15 years, the Fourth of July marked not just the holiday celebration at Hanson Dam near Valens' Pacoima home in the Northeast Valley, but also a correlating festival named in his honor (additionally, there is a city park named after him).
Back at the Grammy Museum, officials announced three new Valens artifacts: the shirt he wore in his first promo photo, his 1957 harmony guitar and the handwritten lyrics to his hit song, La Bamba (Valens' aunt actually wrote them down for him because his Spanish was not up to par).
Valens, 17 at the time, died on February 3rd, 1959 in a small plane crash in Iowa that is now known as the day music died. Buddy Holly and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were also aboard. At today's ceremony, Tommy Allsup who played with Holly, spoke about how he and Valens flipped a coin for a seat on the plane--Valens had never flown before and won the seat.
Valens was one of the first to have a breakout Spanish rock and roll song and the Northeast San Fernando Valley wont' let that part of history be forgotten.
Donald Trump was a fading TV presence when the WGA strike put a dent in network schedules.
Pickets are being held outside at movie and TV studios across the city
For some critics, this feels less like a momentous departure and more like a footnote.
Disneyland's famous "Fantasmic!" show came to a sudden end when its 45-foot animatronic dragon — Maleficent — burst into flames.
Leads Ali Wong and Steven Yeun issue a joint statement along with show creator Lee Sung Jin.
Every two years, Desert X presents site-specific outdoor installations throughout the Coachella Valley. Two Los Angeles artists have new work on display.