Who Played On ‘La Bamba’? Part 2


A few days ago I wrote about the Ritchie Valens milestone La Bamba and the musicians who recorded it. If you want to delve deeper into the history of this song, you can listen to a part of the NPR program All Things Considered from July 15, 2000. It features an interview with producer Bob Keane. You need the RealPlayer to listen to it.

5 thoughts on “Who Played On ‘La Bamba’? Part 2

    • According to Bob Keane’s biography (producer of Ritchie Valens), Rene Hall played the Danelectro six string guitar on “La Bamba” (“The Oracle of Del-Fi, Del-Fi International Books, 2005, page 67). The booklet of the 3-CD set “Ritchie Valens in Come on, let’s go” (Del-Fi Records), written by Gary Tanenbaum, says: “According to Hall (…) Ritchie played lead guitar on “La Bamba”, including the solo break (…) When Hall is on the Danelectro, it is most likely Ritchie playing lead. Carol Kaye is on rhythm guitar (…).

  1. i bought a cd called ritchie valens story ,one of the tracks is take 7 of labamba , and it was obvious that ritchie wasnt playing ! reckon carol kay played the lead and the solo break and reene hall on the a danelectro or vice versa i think time affected people memorys , carol kay is still with us ,only she would no if she can remember back that far

    • Ms Kaye personally emailed me that talented Ritchie had a wondrous voice, and picked his own solos (proabaly his Harmony Stratotone on ‘La Bamba’). Holly’s last tour lead-Strat Tommy Allsup, said, “For a 17 yr old, Ritchie could play real good.” Like some impromptu ‘Live’ shots Pacoima Jr High was just Ritchie acoustic-electric Gibson and a drummer, so to fill out the sound he strummed more rythm than lead on that deal.

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