La Bamba (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"La Bamba" (pronounced [la ˈβamba]) 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. Valens's version is ranked number 345 on Rolling Stone magazine′s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

"La Bamba" has been covered by numerous artists, notably by Los Lobos whose version was the title track of the 1987 film La Bamba, a bio-pic about Valens; their version reached No. 1 in many charts in the same year.

Early recordings[edit]

La Bamba has its origin in the state of Veracruz, Mexico.[1] The oldest recorded version known is that of Alvaro Hernández Ortiz,[2] who recorded the song with the name of "El Jarocho". His recording was released on the Victor label in Mexico in 1938 or 1939, and was reissued on a 1997 compilation by Yazoo Records, The Secret Museum Of Mankind Vol. 4.[3]

According to a 1945 article in Life magazine, the song and associated dance were brought "out of the jungle" at Veracruz by American bandleader Everett Hoagland, who introduced it at Ciro's nightclub in Mexico City. It became popular, and the song was adopted by Mexican presidential candidate Miguel Alemán Valdés who used it in his successful campaign. Later in 1945, the music and dance were introduced at the Stork Club in New York City by Arthur Murray.[4] A popular version by Andrés Huesca (1917–1957) and his brother Victor, billed as Hermanos Huesca, was issued on Peerless Records in Mexico around 1945–46. Huesca re-recorded the song for RCA Victor in 1947,[5] and the same year the song featured as a production number in the MGM musical film Fiesta, performed by a group called Los Bocheros.

The Swedish-American folk singer William Clauson recorded the song in several languages in the early and mid-1950s. He claimed to have heard the song in Veracruz, and in performance slowed down the tempo to encourage audience participation.[6][7] Another version, "somewhat bowdlerized", was recorded by Cynthia Gooding on her 1953 Elektra album, Mexican Folk Songs.[8]

Ritchie Valens version[edit]

"La Bamba"
Single by Ritchie Valens
from the album Ritchie Valens
A-side"Donna"
ReleasedNovember 15, 1958
Recorded1958
Genre
Length2:06
LabelDel-Fi
Songwriter(s)Traditional, adapted by Ritchie Valens
Producer(s)Bob Keane
Ritchie Valens singles chronology
"Come On, Let's Go"
(1958)
"Donna" / "La Bamba"
(1958)
"Fast Freight / Big Baby Blues"
(1959)

Ritchie Valens learned the song in his youth, from his cousin Dickie Cota.[9] In 1958 he recorded a rock and roll version of "La Bamba",[10] together with session musicians Buddy Clark (string bass); Ernie Freeman (piano); Carol Kaye (acoustic rhythm guitar); René Hall (Danelectro six-string baritone guitar); Earl Palmer (drums and claves); Ritchie Valens (vocals, lead guitar).[11] It was originally released as the B-side of "Donna", on the Del-Fi label.[9]

The song features a simple verse-chorus form. Valens, who was proud of his Mexican heritage, was hesitant at first to merge "La Bamba" with rock and roll, but then agreed. The song ranked No. 98 in VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Rock and Roll in 1999, and No. 59 in VH1's 100 Greatest Dance Songs in 2000. Furthermore, Valens' recording of the song was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame.[12]

The song was listed at number 354 in the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine,[13] being the only non-English language song included in the list.[14] It was also included in Robert Christgau's "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).[15] Valens was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.[16] In 2019, Valens' version was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[17] It is also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 songs that were influential in shaping rock and roll.[18]

Charts[edit]

Weekly chart performance for Ritchie Valens' recording
Chart (1959–1987) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[19] 87
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[20] 13
France (SNEP)[21] 32
UK Singles (OCC)[22] 49
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 22

Los Lobos version[edit]

"La Bamba"
La Bamba Los Lobos.jpg
Single by Los Lobos
from the album La Bamba Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
LanguageSpanish
B-side"Charlena"
ReleasedJune 20, 1987
Recorded1986
Genre
Length2:54
LabelWarner Bros.
Songwriter(s)Ritchie Valens
Producer(s)Los Lobos
Los Lobos singles chronology
"Come On, Let's Go" / "Ooh! My Head"
(1987)
"La Bamba"
(1987)
"Down on the Riverbed"
(1990)

The music video directed by Sherman Halsey[24] won the 1988 MTV Video Music Award for Best Video from a Film, also the music video had the participation of Lou Diamond Phillips, actor who played Valens in the 1987 film namesake.[25] The song was also the fourth wholly non-English language song to top the Billboard Hot 100.

Weekly charts[edit]

Weekly chart performance for Los Lobos' cover
Chart (1987) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[citation needed] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[26] 3
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[27] 2
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[28] 1
France (SNEP)[29] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[30] 7
New Zealand (RIANZ)[31] 1
Italy (FIMI)[citation needed] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[32] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[33] 4
Spain (AFYVE)[34] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[35] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[36] 1
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[37] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[38] 1
US Billboard Country Songs[39] 57
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[40] 4
US Billboard Latin Songs[41] 1
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[42] 11
Zimbabwe (ZIMA)[43] 1
Chart (2016) Peak
position
Poland (Polish Airplay Top 100)[44] 75

Year-end charts[edit]

1987 year-end chart performance for Los Lobos' cover
Chart (1987) Position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[45] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[46] 20
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[47] 21
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[48] 1
European Top 100 Singles (Music & Media)[49] 12
France (SNEP)[50] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[51] 16
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[52] 26
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[53] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[54] 4
UK Singles (OCC)[55] 18
US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)[56] 11
US Crossover Singles (Billboard)[57] 18
US Latin Singles (Billboard)[58] 15
US Cash Box Top 100 Singles[59] 11
West Germany (Official German Charts)[60] 49

All-time charts[edit]

All-time chart performance for Los Lobos' cover
Chart (1958–2018) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[61] 373

Certifications and sales[edit]

Certifications and sales for Los Lobos' cover
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[62] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[63] Gold 500,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Other notable versions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'La Bamba': conoce el origen de esta popular canción veracruzana". El Heraldo de México (in Spanish). March 24, 2021. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  2. ^ "Revisiting La Bamba, the Ritchie Valens Biopic That Underscores the Myth of the American Dream". Pitchfork. August 27, 2020. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  3. ^ Arnold Rypens, The Originals Archived September 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed April 13, 2015
  4. ^ "LIFE". Time Inc. October 15, 1945. p. 140. Retrieved May 22, 2021 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Sullivan, Steve (October 4, 2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings. Scarecrow Press. p. 461. ISBN 9780810882966. Retrieved May 22, 2021 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Mats Johansson, Magnus Nilsson, "William Clauson", sunkit.com. Accessed April 13, 2015
  7. ^ Biography, William Clauson official site. Accessed April 13, 2015
  8. ^ Richie Unterberger, Liner notes for reissue of Cynthia Gooding's Mexican Folk Songs. Accessed April 13, 2015
  9. ^ a b María Herrera-Sobek , Celebrating Latino Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Cultural Traditions, ABC-CLIO, 2012, p.651
  10. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 14 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 4]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  11. ^ Ritchie Valens, "Ritchie Valens in Come On. Let’s Go" Del-Fi Records, liner notes
  12. ^ "Latin GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". Latin Grammy Award. Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  13. ^ "La Bamba ranked #17 on Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs List". Rolling Stone. December 11, 2003. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  14. ^ Bender, Steven (2008). Comprende?: The Significance of Spanish in English-only Times. Floricanto Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-888205-08-4. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0899190251. Retrieved March 16, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  16. ^ "Celebrating Hispanic Live History: Linda Ronstadt Brings Mariachi To The Masses With 'Canciones de Mi Padre'". Pollstar. September 30, 2021. Retrieved October 22, 2021.
  17. ^ Andrews, Travis M. (March 20, 2019). "Jay-Z, a speech by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and 'Schoolhouse Rock!' among recordings deemed classics by Library of Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". Infoplease. FEN Learning. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  19. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 319. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  20. ^ "Ritchie Valens – La Bamba" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  21. ^ "Ritchie Valens – La Bamba" (in French). Les classement single.
  22. ^ "Ritchie Valens: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  23. ^ "Ritchie Valens Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  24. ^ Morris, Chris (2015). Los Lobos: Dream in Blue. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-1-4773-0852-3.
  25. ^ "In 1987 Los Lobos brings back "La Bamba" in their energized version to the top of the charts". www.popexpresso.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2021. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  26. ^ "Los Lobos – La Bamba" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  27. ^ "Los Lobos – La Bamba" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  28. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - September 5, 1987" (PDF).
  29. ^ "Los Lobos – La Bamba" (in French). Les classement single.
  30. ^ "Los Lobos – La Bamba" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts.
  31. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART. Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  32. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Los Lobos" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  33. ^ "Los Lobos – La Bamba". VG-lista.
  34. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  35. ^ "Los Lobos – La Bamba". Singles Top 100.
  36. ^ "Los Lobos – La Bamba". Swiss Singles Chart.
  37. ^ "LOS LOBOS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  38. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 - Los Lobos - La Bamba". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  39. ^ "Hot Country Songs - Los Lobos - La Bamba". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  40. ^ "Adult Contemporary - Los Lobos - La Bamba". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  41. ^ "Hot Latin Songs - Los Lobos - La Bamba". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  42. ^ "Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks - Los Lobos - La Bamba". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  43. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  44. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  45. ^ "Kent Music Report No 701 – 28 December 1987 > National Top 100 Singles for 1987". Kent Music Report. Retrieved April 8, 2022 – via Imgur.com.
  46. ^ "Jahreshitparade 1987". Austrian Charts Portal (in German). Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  47. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1987" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  48. ^ "Top 100 Singles of '87". RPM. Vol. 47, no. 12. Library and Archives Canada. December 26, 1987. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  49. ^ "European Charts of the Year 1987: Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. December 26, 1987. p. 34. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  50. ^ "Top - 1987". Top France (in French). Archived from the original on June 19, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  51. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1987" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  52. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1987" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  53. ^ "END OF YEAR CHARTS 1987". Official New Zealand Music Chart. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  54. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1987: Singles". Swiss Chart Portal (in German). Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  55. ^ "Gallup Year End Charts 1987: Singles" (PDF). Record Mirror. January 23, 1988. p. 36. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  56. ^ "1987 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 99, no. 52. December 26, 1987.
  57. ^ "1987 The Year in Music & Video: Top Adult Contemporary Singles". Billboard. Vol. 99, no. 52. December 26, 1987. p. Y-31. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  58. ^ "1987 The Year in Music & Video: Top Hot Crossover Singles". Billboard. Vol. 99, no. 52. December 26, 1987. p. Y-44. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  59. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1987 . TOP 100 POP SINGLES". Cash Box. December 26, 1987. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  60. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts: 1987". Offiziellecharts.de (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  61. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  62. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Los Lobos – La Bamba". Music Canada.
  63. ^ "French single certifications – Los Lobos – La Bamba" (in French). InfoDisc. Select LOS LOBOS and click OK. 
  64. ^ "CD Reissues 1". www.belafontetracks.ca. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  65. ^ Herman, Valli. "Texas, with an East L.A. Edge / Los Lonely Boys for "Heaven" from "Los Lonely Boys"". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  66. ^ Sauro, Tony. "Los Lonely Boys are family boys". Recordnet.com. Local Media Group, Inc. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  67. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (December 27, 2003). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  68. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (December 13, 2003). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  69. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (January 17, 2004). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  70. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (January 24, 2004). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  71. ^ "Breakthrough Spanish song still going strong". Reuters. September 14, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2020.