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This is the only site authorized and developed by Ritchies family, Bob, Connie, Irma and Mario. Take your time, there is a lot of great photos and memories we want to share with you. We hope you will enjoy your visit with us and come back often.

Please note: all animations on this site are in Flash therefore they won't play on iPhone, iTouch and iPad.

Articles of the Month
News from The Family
The Day The Music Died Plane Crash Investigation
2015 Winter Dance Party
Help Us Bring The Music
Elwynn Musser
Donna Ritchie's Girl
News from Mario
Poem: A memorable night at the surf New forever seventeen T-shirt


Original Ritchie, the Ritchie Valens Store, opened May of 2006. Please click on to Original Ritchie for a visit.
PayPal Logo We have made some changes to Original Ritchie the Ritchie Valens store, Paypal has been added for convenient and secure shopping.
Available is the best in Ritchie Valens music on CD . We have temporarily removed our apparel line, we are hoping to present a new line this spring. Thanks go out to Ritchie's fans.

Forever Seventeen T-shirt
Ritchie Valens is forever seventeen, this was the inspiration for our new T-shirt.
Ritchie Valens Forever 17 T-shirt Introducing our new T-Shirt, "Forever Seventeen", its bright colors make one of our more 50's style design. We hope you enjoy the bright and fun colors, this T runs true to size.
Just click below to order
  The Forever 17 T-shirt for Women
  The Forever 17 T-shirt for Men
on Original Ritchie the Ritchie Valens Store

Donna's Scrapbook live.
The Ritchie Valens Family gratefully acknowledges Donna's contributions to this page. All information and photo's authorized by Donna Fox. All photo's used with permission, Donna Fox, Alan Clark (Alan Clark Archives), Judy Willis and Michelle Hoover ( also we would like to acknowledge Pascale our webmaster here at Ritchie for her effort and dedication to our site.

The Day The Music Died Plane Crash Investigation,
The plane crash that took the lives of our brother Ritchie, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and pilot Roger Peterson has been a hot topic in the news. Saying that The National Transportation Safety Board, has agreed to consider re-opening the investigation. The key word being "Consider".

A few year's back a close friend of our family explained what he and a friend of his that works in aviation had discovered during their own investigation.

The plane a Beechcraft Bonanza, was very popular with the doctors of the time, they were relatively inexpensive as planes go, and easy to learn to fly. The Beechcraft Bonanza earned a nickname "Doctor Killers". The unsuspecting / inexperienced doctors would load to much weight into the planes causing them to become over- weight and unbalanced. The planes being lightweight would take off but were unable to gain altitude.

No one really knows what happened, February 2,1959 as the plane took off. Its been 56 years this Febuary, The world lost three great artist's with budding music careers, and the pilot who was recently married. What will this investigation change? The original report said pilot error, we were told that Roger could have flown this plane blind folded, that's how competent he was. Other theories that Buddy had a gun, Buddy was a brilliant song writer and musician. We Ritchie's family would love to see Roger Peterson's name cleared imagine what his family went through.

Accidents happen. Are they going to go after the plane manufacturer for not labeling this plane, may crash if over-weight or unbalanced. What about all the other people who lost their lives in the same type of plane. Closure is a good thing, but sometimes we can only receive little bit's and pieces at a time, as we allow sweet memories, friendships to heal us. Forgiveness of others and ourselves also help us along this journey called life.

The word "Consider" is the key to this mystery, the NTSB, may or may not go forth with the investigation, they said it will take a couple of months for them to decide. Whatever they find may change the way we see or feel about the "Day The Music Died". Let's not let this dampen our love for "The Music", let's remember that Rock n' Roll was being birthed, and this has been part of what's kept it alive. Lets keep listening and dancing it makes us happy and keeps us young.

2015 Winter Dance Party
The Family, is once again happy to be Ambassadors for the Surf Ballroom's 2015 Winter Dance Party. Included this year is Irma's daughter Gloria, who appeared in La Bamba as her mother Irma, interesting trevia, Gloria was the same age as her mom at the time of Ritchie death. Gloria was 7 years old. Gloria's last visit to the Surf was in 1992.

The family is looking forward to this years musical line-up including their friends , Tommy Allsup, John Mueller's Winter Dance Party, Chris Montez, to name a few for the full line-up and schedule of events visit

Mario not attend this year, he will be busy in the Los Angles area, preparing for and promoting, The Rockabilly Festival in Las Vegas this April.

Please join us for this Rock'N Roll Family reunion...

Help Us Bring The Music
Imagine walking unto Three Star Plaza and being able to select from the interactive podium, your favorite Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper or Buddy Holly song. Please help with with your donation to bring the music to Three Star Plaza, no amount to large or small... We are still several thousand dollars from our goal. Birthday Bash You still have the opportunity to partner with us. The Surf Ballroom is providing an area on their website under link " Get Involved", please earmark your checks made payable to the Surf Ballroom, Three Star Plaza. We believe that bringing the music will enhance the visitors experience to an already beautiful memorial to Three Great Artists, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper & Buddy Holly. Thanks for your support.


Rock N' Roll Fans a New Book!!
The family is pleased to share this exciting news: "The Flip of a Coin" The story of Tommy Allsup, you can purchase his newly launched biography at

News from Mario:

Mario and the Backyard Blues Band have a new CD. They have recorded Ritchie's "That's my Little Susie" along with new Backyard originals. For more info on the new CD & performance schedule go to


A memorable night at the surf
A Tribute to Buddy, Big Bopper, and Ritchie

The world still loves your music after all these years
Rock n' Roll unfolded
The crowds stood up and cheered
The SURF is where it's happenin', so be there or be a square
The bands are warming up
Anticipation fills the air
Guys are shined in Brylcreem, new blue jeans all rolled up
Watch the girls and ask em to dance
Smoke Lucky's from a cuff
Bobby sox, saddle shoes, and can-cans all a fluff
A scarf in her pony tail
A boy winks; there's a blush
A fifty-seven Chevy parks beneath the marquee lights
Chrome bumpers gleaming
From the mirror hangs fuzzy dice
The curtain about to go up; Big Bopper sets the pace
The dance floor fills to quota
Shake the walls, CHANTILLY LACE
Ritchie, we remember how you sang about your love
A slow dance to OH DONNA
Revolving stars above
LA-BAMBA steals a heartbeat, hot guitar strings intertwine
Notes on a scale that reach
Where chiming songbirds fly
Buddy, talent rolling, as you rocked the stage in two
The drums beat out the rhythm
And we danced to PEGGY SUE
TRUE LOVE WAYS; like you waved a magic wand
An orchestra of feelings
Your heart sang out the song
Buddy, Bopper, Ritchie, your memory lives through time
Your fans span generations
And your music blows our minds
We gather here in honor to that cold night in the sky
The Surf stands in legend to
The day the music died

Pam McKiness

More News
Ritchie will be receiving a major update 2015. We will be adding new photo's and adding new merchandise at our online store Original Ritchie.

Meeting Elwynn Musser, the photographer that took the photo's of "The Day the Music Died" Irma Norton, Connie Valens and Ellwynn Musser. Pictured left to right Irma Norton, Connie Valens and Ellwynn Musser.

Imagine walking into a restaurant in the small Iowa town of Thornton, a town it seems that time forgot and meeting the man that was at the crash site that took your brother's life. Elwynn Musser worked for the Mason City newspaper the Globe Gazette in 1959, Elwynn who is in his early 90's is still sharp and clear of mind. When Connie and Irma along with Randy and Doris decided to accept the invitation to the early morning breakfast, they had no idea what awaited them. Stunned would be an under-statement when Connie and Irma were introduced to Elwynn Musser as the man who photographed their brother at the crash site. Elwynn was very careful not to be morbid as he spoke of his experience. There on the table sat the camera that Elwynn, Mr. Musser took the actual crash site photographs with, it was hard not to get emotional. Connie asked Elwynn if she could hold the camera, she was surprised by the weight of it, immediately she sensed that this was the real deal, she asked which one of the framing viewers he had used and then picked up the camera to look through it, amazing!, over 50 years before the camera she now held had taken the last photographs of Ritchie. We'll be forever thankful for the opportunity of such a wonderful God-incident. Each year there is always a special moment in our pilgrimages to Iowa that set that visit apart, it seems that closure will never come then we realize it's all part of our healing. Special thanks the the Buddy Holly British Society for the generous invitation.