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Episode 84: La Bamba (1987)

labambaIt's rock 'n roll biopics for this pairing of films, and Jeff, Buddy, and Chad are taking you back to the late 1950s with a film that follows the rise of 17-year-old Richard Valenzuela, who would later be known as Ritchie Valens, the outstanding rock singer and guitarist. 1987's "La Bamba," written and directed by Luis Valdez, with the support of, and input from, the Valenzuela family, is a (mostly) historically accurate retelling of how a migrant farmworker from southern California went on to become one of the fastest rising stars of the early rock era! Starring Lou Diamond Phillips in his first leading role, with co-stars Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Pena, Joe Pantoliano, Rick Dees, and cameo musical performances from Marshall Crenshaw, Howard Huntsberry, and Brian Setzer, this film tackles every part of life in SoCal in the late 50s, including the struggle between Ritchie and his brother Bob, and the racial tensions of the era. But it does it all with some absolutely amazing music, much of it courtesy of Los Lobos!

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