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LA BAMBA

 
SONG & HIT DETAILS
 
Artist Name: LOS LOBOS
 
Hit Month (Australia): 1987
 
Song Author: William Clauson
 
 
Year Recorded: 1958
 
SONG PROFILE
 
La Bamba

Format CD single, 7"

Bamba" is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, a top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs.

Influenced by Spanish flamenco and a traditional mambo latin rhythm, the song uses jarana jarocha, guitar, and harp.

Lyrics to the song greatly vary, as performers often improvise verses while performing. However, versions such as those by musical groups Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan and Los Pregoneros del Puerto have survived because of the artists' popularity. The traditional aspect of "La Bamba" lies in the tune itself, which remains the almost the same through most versions.

Ritchie Valens version:

The traditional song inspired Ritchie Valens' rock and roll version "La Bamba" in 1958. Valens' "La Bamba" infused the traditional tune with a rock drive, in part provided by session drummer Earl Palmer and session lead guitarist Carol Kaye, making the song accessible to a much wider record audience and earning it (and Valens) a place in rock history (inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2001).