(Ben and I lived in Pacoima for 11 years before we moved to where we live now)
Ritchie started singing at age 5. He played the trumpet and the drums and a neighbor helped him restring an old guitar and taught Ritchie how to play it.
He played at family parties and other small functions.
In 1958, he was playing at a matinee movie theater when he was discovered and signed to a recording contract.
His most famous record was "La Bamba" and he also had a hit song called "Donna", which he wrote for his girlfriend.
In 1959, Ritchie was killed in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.