Ukulele Video Lesson - We Belong Together (Ritchie Valens)

This ukulele video lesson is taking us back in time! To when Rock 'n Roll was first starting out! Richard Valenzuela, or who we all know as Ritchie Valens, just started rocking out during that time. I always think of the 50's as the Doo-Wop Period. A time when Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and others, were starting out and becoming stars. 

We Belong Together was a cover song that Valen's recorded on a demo in 1959. It was originally recorded by Robert & Johnny back in 1958, and written by Robert Carr, Johnny Mitchell, Hy Weiss.

This song was also made famous in John Carpenter's "Christine", which was the original version. It was also featured in the movie "La Bamba", which was recorded by Los Lobos.

The Beginning

Ritchie Valens, born Richard Steven Valenzuela, was born in California, on May 13, 1941. Since he was of Mexican heritage, he was exposed to traditional Mexican music, such as Mariachi music. He started playing the guitar and other instruments, with the urging of his Father, as a youngster. I can only imagine how much he loved music, as when I was a kid, I played different instruments. And till this day, I still love all types of musical instruments. But the instrument that I love, is you guessed it, the ukulele. Ahhh, yes!

Valens got his start while he was just a high school student at San Fernando High School. The President from Del-Fi Records got word that Ritchie would be performing a gig on the weekend. So of course he went and watched Valens perform. And we all know the saying, "The rest is history!"

Later Success & Sudden Loss

The President of Del-Fi Records, Bob Keane, started recording sessions after Valens impressed him during his audition. With the urging of Bob, he tells Ritchie that he needs a stage name, to appeal to the mass audience of the time. Which is why we all know him as Ritchie Valens. His demo recording, consisted of the famous "Donna", which then went on to become a hit. Donna was his real life girlfriend at the time. Oh, Donna...Oh, Donna! Love that song! 

After the success of his other famous recordings, "Come on, Let's Go" and "La Bamba", he decided to quit high school, to concentrate on his success as a musician. He went on tour with all the stars of the time. Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Paul Anka, just to name a few. He also sang along side some of Rock 'n Roll's greats like, Chuck Berry. After all, he was a pioneer of Chicano and Latin Rock, which inspired other modern rockers of Latino heritage.

In 1987, a movie called "La Bamba" was released, based off of Ritchie Valen's life. If you haven't seen it, go watch it. It's an awesome movie. 

As we all know, Ritchie sadly passed away in a plane crash in 1959. He died alongside other Rocker's, Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper, and the pilot of the aircraft. It's also known as "The Day the Music Died", after Don Mclean's "American Pie". Bye, bye, Miss American Pie..."

Now getting to the ukulele video lesson...

The chords used in this ukulele video lesson is F, Dm, Bb, C7, F7, and G7. Strumming pattern is up, down, down, up, down, down. You can go to the settings button on the lower right hand side of the video, and set the video speed to 0.5 to get a better visual aid.

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