A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 13, 2013

Ritchie Valens - Come On, Let's Go (1958)

Born Richard Valenzuela on May 13, 1941, this Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist only had a career that lasted eight months before ending in tragedy. As a young boy, Valenzuela was absent on one particular day of school to attend his grandfather’s funeral. On that same day, two planes collided above the playground of his school, killing and injuring many of his friends. From there forward, Valenzuela had a fear of flying. A self-taught musician, Valenzuela joined a local band at the age of sixteen, while still in high school, called The Silhouettes. He started as a backup singer and guitarist, but when the group’s lead vocalist quit, Valenzuela took charge. He was eventually discovered by Del-Fi Records' owner and president, Bob Keane, who had Valenzuela respell his first name from “Richie” to “Ritchie,” and shorten his last name from “Valenzuela” to “Valens.” Soon, Valens was recording nationwide hits, appearing in movies, and dropping out of high school to join a nationwide tour. “The Winter Dance Party,” a tour that began in early 1959, featured Valens, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Dion and the Belmonts, and Frankie Sardo. On February 2nd, 1959, just eight months after Valens’ career had started, Ritchie Valens died in a plane crash that also claimed the life of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper, now known as “The Day the Music Died.” Although his imprint on rock and roll history was short lived, there were an astounding number of future musicians to have been influenced by him, both Latinos and non-Latinos alike.

This was Ritchie Valens’ first hit song. It was written by Valens himself with the help of Bob Keane, credited as Kuhn, using his real surname, and featured the B-Side “Framed,” a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Heard below, the song was recorded, pressed, and released in a span of mere days. It was the success of this song and his record that followed (“Donna”/”La Bamba”) which led Ritchie to quitting high school and focusing music full-time. The song reached number forty-two in the US.

album art

Ritchie Valens - Come On, Let's Go (1958)

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Lyrics:

Well, come on, let's go
Let's go, let's go, little darlin'
And tell me that you'll never leave me
Come on, come on, let's go’a
Again, again, and again

Well, now, swing me, swing me
All the way down, there
Come on, let's go little darlin'
Let's go, let's go again once more

Well, I love you so, girl
And I'll never let you go
Come on, baby, so
Oh, pretty baby, I love you so

Let's go, let's go, let's go
Little sweetheart
That we can always be together
Come on, come on, let's go again

I love you so, girl
And I'll never let you go
Come on, baby, so
Oh, pretty baby, I love you so

Let's go, let's go, let's go, little darlin'
They’re dancin’ and we’ll be longer
Come on, come on, let’s go’a
Again, again and again and again
Again, again and again and again
Again, again and again and again
Again, again…

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