What's New



This is the only site authorized and developed by Ritchie's family, 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.

Articles of the Month

News from The Family
Iowa Rock n’ Roll Music Association screening “The Day the Music Died Don McLean’s American Pie”
American Museum of History
Happy Birthday Ritchie
Ritchie Valens Songbook - Hits and B-sides
In Memoriam, Robert Morales
What's up with Mario
Ritchie Valens’ Soy Capitan™ Cola

For the Ritchie Valens Collection please visit shopiowarock.com

Ritchie Valens’ Soy Capitan™ Cola

C3 Entertainment, Inc. is excited to announce a license with Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shops to produce a Ritchie Valens soft drink called Soy CapitanTM Cola for sale in all Rocket Fizz stores and other select outlets.
In stores now, you can enjoy a bottle of Ritchie Valens’ Soy Capitan™ Cola around the country in 28 states and over 120 locations. The bottle features classic imagery of Ritchie Valens with one of his electric guitars.
According to the Valens family, cola was Ritchie’s favorite soft drink flavor. He could often be found sipping a cola with friends at the popular Southern California diner, Bob’s Big Boy. Read more.

Please visit rocketfizz.com for a store near you.

Ritchie Valens’ Soy Capitan™ Cola

For Licensing, Merchandising and Advertising Contact:
Ani Khachoian
Executive Vice President of Licensing, Merchandising and Distribution
C3 Entertainment, Inc.
1415 Gardena Avenue
Glendale, CA 91204
Email - Phone: (818) 956-1337 ext. 215

What's up with The Family
Iowa Rock n’ Roll Music Association screening “The Day the Music Died Don McLean’s American Pie”

We are pleased to partner with Iowa Rock n’ Roll Music Association for the screening of “The Day the Music Died Don McLean’s American Pie” special thanks to Emily Frias production manager and Mark Moorman director.

LaIowa Rock n’ Roll Music Association

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2023
Media Contact: Clay Norris, Executive Director
507-350-8723, clay@iowarocknroll.com

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association Presents
The Day the Music Died: The Story of Don McLean’s American Pie
The Paramount+ documentary film shows at 1 pm on June 3 and June 4

(Arnolds Park, IA) - The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association is proud to present two showings of the Paramount+ documentary film, The Day the Music Died: The Story of Don McLean’s American Pie. The showings will be at the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 243 W. Broadway in Arnolds Park, on Saturday June 3 and Sunday June 4 – each day at 1:00 pm. Admission is free, and free-will donations are welcomed and appreciated.

Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association Spirit Award winner Connie Valens of Spirit Lake, the younger sister of Ritchie Valens, was the driving force to bring this powerful movie to Arnolds Park. Connie is featured in the film, and she uniquely shares what the iconic song and this film about it means to her and her family. The fateful part that the state of Iowa plays in “The Day the Music Died” is showcased – from the tragic event in 1959, to the role that Iowa’s Everly Brothers played, and more.

Connie said, “When I approached the Association whom I consider my Iowa family, about the showing of The Day the Music Died, Don McLean’s American Pie, I knew that they would understand the significance of a time and story that so deeply impacted my family. When asked to participate in the film, I knew I would have to go back to that long ago place, and that it would be difficult, but also an important element to the film, and it was! This story beautifully depicts a significant era in our history and how it changed us all.”

Directed by Mark Moorman, this deep, heartfelt documentary features Don McClean sharing the emotional and personal journey he took to create what other artists have dubbed perhaps the best contemporary song ever written. Commentary by superstars such as Garth Brooks and Brian Wilson, as well as newer artists such as Jade Bird, Home Free, and Maffio detail the reverence they have for American Pie and the tragic event that was the genesis of its composition.

Says Don McLean, “This documentary is something that will make people think, especially since so many throughout the years have asked me what certain lyrics meant or whom I was referring to, but now I finally can solve many of those mysteries. Everyone from Madonna to Garth Brooks to Weird Al Yankovic has recorded ‘American Pie’ and made it their own. So many people have their own interpretation of the song, and I love it.”

With a narrative that McClean says is “an abstract, dream-like story about America”, American Pie is a musical phenomenon that has been woven deep into our culture, moving and inspiring fans around the world for over 50 years. This documentary also reveals the point of view of a new generation of artists who are motivated by the same type of events, values and ideas that inspired the song’s verses. Issues that are as relevant now in 2023 as they were back in 1971, at the end of the turbulent 60’s, when the song was released.

For details visit iowarocknroll.com

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association exists to celebrate the legacy and inspire the future of rock and roll music in Iowa. We accomplish this by honoring achievements, educating youth, and inspiring artists. Our 26th year as a 501(c)(3) non- profit statewide organization.

Happy Birthday Ritchie

Happy Birthday Ritchie, all these decades later we still remenber your beautiful voice and dance to your music. VIVA RITCHIE!!

What's up with Mario
In Memoriam, Robert Morales aka "La Bamba Bob" March 9, 1937- September 15, 2018
La Bamba Bob
American Museum of History

Ritchie’s Sister Irma and family recently visited Washington DC. During their visit to the American Museum of History, came across this exhibit which features Ritchie’s 45 on the turquoise Del-Fi label. It still amazes us see the impact Ritchie’s music has made and it’s importance.

Ritchie Valens Songbook - Hits and B-sides

Series: Guitar
Format: Softcover Audio Online - TAB
Artist: Ritchie Valens
Author: Ryan Sheeler

Ritchie Valens was the first nationally recognized Latino rock'n' roll star. He had a meteoric rise to fame in a career that lasted barely eight months, before his tragic death along with Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and pilot Roger Peterson, in a plane crash north of Clear Lake, Iowa. Ritchie's unique guitar style and high-energy performances and his hits "Come On, Let's Go," "Donna," and "La Bamba" made him a well-known figure in the golden age of rock 'n' roll.

Valens had only two studio albums, Ritchie Valens and Ritchie, both released posthumously in 1959. In Ritchie Valens Songbook: Hits and B Sides, guitarist and author Ryan Sheeler presents an in-depth look at Ritchie's music from these two albums, featuring 12 note-for-note transcriptions with accompanying guitar tablature.

This is a follow up to Sheeler's book, Ritchie Valens: His Guitar and Music, featuring a complete exploration of "La Bamba," plus Ritchie's guitars and history.

Surf Ballroom Winter Dance Party 2018

Ryan studied music at Iowa State, a musican in his own right he explores the musical styles of Ritchie and shares photos and information not currently found elsewhere. Some of the questions he answers, How much of his own guitar work did Ritchie perform on his records? You'll want to add this book to your collection, Ryan shares his passion for Ritchie's music working tirelessly "to get it right". Available on Amazon, halleonard.com and www.ryansheeler.com