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Freeway Named After Ritchie Valens


A stretch of the 5 Freeway in Los Angeles, Ca is named in honor of the rock legend Ritchie Valens.
Between Route 170 and the 118 Freeway, you can find The Richie Valens Memorial Highway in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Valens attended San Fernando High School and became a hit rock ’n’ roll recording artist when he was discovered in 1958 at the American Legion Hall. He appeared on the TV Show “American Bandstand” and recorded top hits like “Come on, Lets Go” and “Donna.” His records sold more than 1 million copies.

Valens died at just 17 years old on Feb. 3, 1959, in a plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson.

Valens was not only a rock ’n’ roll star but he represented the Latin community and the San Fernando Valley with pride. “Ritchie loved his community, and had big plans to help young neighborhood kids,” said Gil Rocha, who performed with Valens in his first group, The Silhouettes.

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