Richard Steven Valenzuela was born on May 13th, 1941 in Pacoima Los Angeles, California. Richard was an average student who enjoyed music. His relatives taught him how to play the guitar at the age of eleven. During Richard's junior year in High School he joined a band named the "Silhouettes". The "Silhouettes" performed at a party being held at an American Legion Hall in January, 1958. Their performance was taped by a part time talent scout working for Bob Keane who was the owner of Keen records. Keane heard the tape and wanted to hear more. In May of 1958 Ritchie went to Los Angeles to audition for Bob Keane. At the time Keane was looking for fresh talent for his new record label "Del-Fi Records". Following the audition, Keane set up a formal session.
"Come On, Let's Go" (Ritchie's first recorded single was released locally during the early summer of 1958). In August of 1958 "Del-Fi Records" released the record nationally (nationwide) and it sold a half million copies.
In October of 1958 Ritchie began another recording session. The ballad "Donna" which was written for his High School sweetheart and on the flip side "La Bamba" Ritchie's version of the old Mexican Folk song. Ritchie's time was filled with recording sessions and appearances. He appeared on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" on December 27th, 1958 and he had a cameo in the teen movie "Go, Johnny, Go!"
On January 23rd, 1959 Ritchie joined Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Dion & The Belmonts for the "Winter Dance Party Tour"
Click on the hyperlink to read about the out come of the "Winter Dance Party Tour"