Trini Lopez

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Trini Lopez
Aankomst Trini Lopez op Schiphol voor bijwonen Grand Gala du Disque Aankomst T, Bestanddeelnr 915-6212.jpg
Trini Lopez in 1963
Background information
Birth nameTrinidad López III
Born (1937-05-15) May 15, 1937 (age 81)
Origin Dallas, Texas, United States
Occupation(s)Singer, musician and actor
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active1959–present
Labels Reprise, Columbia, King, Crown

Trinidad "Trini" López III (born May 15, 1937) is an American singer, guitarist, and actor. His first album included a version of "If I Had a Hammer", which earned a Golden Disc for him. Other hits included "Lemon Tree", "I'm Comin' Home, Cindy" and "Sally Was a Good Old Girl". He designed two guitars for the Gibson Guitar Corporation, which are now collectors’ items.

Cover version later version of a song already established with a different earlier performer

In popular music, a cover version, cover song, revival, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording by someone other than the original artist or composer of a previously recorded, commercially released song.

If I Had a Hammer 1962 single by Peter, Paul and Mary

"If I Had a Hammer " is a song written by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays. It was written in 1949 in support of the progressive movement, and was first recorded by The Weavers, a folk music quartet composed of Seeger, Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, and Fred Hellerman. It was a number 10 hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1962 and then went to number three a year later when recorded by Trini Lopez.

"Lemon Tree" is a folk song written by Will Holt in the late 1950s. The tune is based on the Brazilian folk song Meu limão, meu limoeiro, arranged by José Carlos Burle in 1937 and made popular by Brazilian singer Wilson Simonal. The song compares love to a lemon tree: "Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."


Early background

Trini Lopez was born in Dallas, Texas, son of Trinidad Lopez II (who was a singer, dancer, actor, and musician in Mexico) and Petra Gonzalez, who moved to Dallas from Mexico. Lopez has four sisters (two are deceased) and a brother, Jesse, who is also a singer. He grew up on Ashland Street in the Little Mexico neighborhood of Dallas [1] and attended grammar school and N. R. Crozier Tech High School. He had to drop out of high school in his senior year because he needed to earn money to help support the family.

Little Mexico is a former neighborhood in Dallas, Texas, encompassing the area bordered by Maple Avenue, McKinney Avenue and the MKT Railroad. Formerly a Polish Jewish neighborhood, it was settled by a wave of Mexican immigrants beginning about 1910, and was recognized as Little Mexico by 1919, becoming a center of a Mexican-American community life in the city that lasted into the early 1980s, with a peak of population in the 1960s. Pike Park and a few structures are the remnants of the historic neighborhood, redeveloped as Uptown, including the Arts and West End Districts.


Lopez formed his first band in Wichita Falls, Texas, at the age of 15. In 1958, at the recommendation of Buddy Holly's father, Trini and his group "The Big Beats" went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico. Petty secured a contract for them with Columbia Records, which released the single "Clark's Expedition"/"Big Boy", both instrumental. Lopez left the group and made his first solo recording, his own composition "The Right To Rock", for the Dallas-based Volk Records, and then signed with King Records in 1959, recording more than a dozen singles for that label, none of which charted. In late 1962, after the King contract expired, Lopez followed up on an offer by producer Snuff Garrett to join the post-Holly Crickets as vocalist. After a few weeks of auditions in Los Angeles, that idea did not go through. He landed a steady engagement at the nightclub PJ's, where his audience grew quickly. He was heard there by Frank Sinatra, who had started his own label, Reprise Records, and who subsequently signed Lopez. [2]

Buddy Holly 20th-century American singer-songwriter

Charles Hardin Holley, known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.

Norman Petty American musician and record producer, talent manager

Norman Petty was an American musician and record producer who is best known for his association with Buddy Holly and the Crickets, who recorded in his studio.

Thomas Lesslie "Snuff" Garrett was an American record producer whose most famous work was during the 1960s and 1970s. His nickname is a derivation of Levi Garrett, a brand of snuff.

His debut live album, Trini Lopez at PJ's (R/RS 6093), was released in 1963. [3] The album included a version of "If I Had a Hammer", which reached number one in 36 countries (no. 3 in the United States), and was a radio favorite for many years. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. [4] He also performed his own version of the traditional Mexican song "La Bamba" on the album; his recording of the tune was later reissued as a single in 1966. Another live album from PJ's was recorded later that same year under the title By Popular Demand More Trini Lopez at PJ's (R/RS 6103) which contains the song "Green Green" which was written by Randy Sparks and Barry McGuire and originally recorded by the New Christy Minstrels earlier that year for their Columbia album Ramblin.

<i>Trini Lopez at PJs</i> 1963 live album by Trini Lopez

Trini Lopez at PJ's is the debut, live album by singer and guitarist Trini Lopez, released in 1963 on Reprise Records. Many of the tracks are folk music songs. The record was a result of Don Costa hearing him perform at PJ's nightclub, and signing him to his new Reprise record label. The club floor was miked to get the crowd reaction on the record, as the producer and Frank Sinatra wanted the "live" experience to come across in the recording. The cover shows Lopez with his Barney Kessel guitar, outside the nightclub. The album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 in August 1963 where it remained for 6 weeks.

"La Bamba" 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 and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs. Valens' version of "La Bamba" is 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)—and ranked number 345 on Rolling Stone magazine′s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is the only song on the list sung in a language other than English.

Sound recording and reproduction recording of sound and playing it back

Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or digital inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording.

His popularity led the Gibson Guitar Corporation to ask him in 1964 to design a guitar for them. He ended up designing two: the Trini Lopez Standard, [5] a rock and roll model based on the Gibson ES-335 semihollow body, and the Lopez Deluxe, [6] a variation of a Gibson jazz guitar designed by Barney Kessel. Both of these guitars were in production from 1964 until 1971, and are now highly sought-after among collectors.[ citation needed ] Owners of the guitar include Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters [7] and Noel Gallagher of Oasis.[ citation needed ]

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

Gibson ES-335 type of guitar

The Gibson ES-335 is the world's first commercial thinline archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar. Released by the Gibson Guitar Corporation as part of its ES series in 1958, it is neither fully hollow nor fully solid; instead, a solid maple wood block runs through the center of its body. The side "wings" formed by the two "cutaways" into its upper bouts are hollow, and the top has two violin-style f-holes over the hollow chambers.

Barney Kessel American jazz guitarist

Barney Kessel was an American jazz guitarist born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Noted in particular for his knowledge of chords and inversions and chord-based melodies, he was a member of many prominent jazz groups as well as a "first call" guitarist for studio, film, and television recording sessions. Kessel was a member of the group of session musicians informally known as the Wrecking Crew.

He scored 13 chart singles through 1968, including "Lemon Tree" (1965), "I'm Comin' Home, Cindy" (1966), and "Sally Was a Good Old Girl" (1968). On the adult contemporary chart, he racked up 15 hits, including the top-10 singles "Michael" (1964), "Gonna Get Along Without Ya' Now" (1967), and "The Bramble Bush" (1967). Beyond his success on record, he became one of the country's top nightclub performers of that era, regularly headlining in Las Vegas. In 1968, he recorded an album in Nashville entitled Welcome to Trini Country (R/RS 6300).

A record chart, also called a music chart, is a ranking of recorded music according to certain criteria during a given period of time. Although in the UK, the official chart has only included physical sales and paid-for streaming, many different criteria are used in worldwide charts, including record sales, the amount of radio airplay, and since the popularity of online consumption of music, the number of downloads and the amount of streaming activity.

In the music industry, the top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "contemporary hit radio" is also a radio format. Frequent variants of the Top 40 are the Top 10, Top 20, Top 30, Top 50, Top 75, Top 100 and Top 200.

Nightclub entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night

A nightclub, music club or club, is an entertainment venue and bar that usually operates late into the night. A nightclub is generally distinguished from regular bars, pubs or taverns by the inclusion of a stage for live music, one or more dance floor areas and a DJ booth, where a DJ plays recorded music. The upmarket nature of nightclubs can be seen in the inclusion of VIP areas in some nightclubs, for celebrities and their guests. Nightclubs are much more likely than pubs or sports bars to use bouncers to screen prospective clubgoers for entry. Some nightclub bouncers do not admit people with informal clothing or gang apparel as part of a dress code. The busiest nights for a nightclub are Friday and Saturday night. Most clubs or club nights cater to certain music genres, such as house music or hip hop. Many clubs have recurring club nights on different days of the week. Most club nights focus on a particular genre or sound for branding effects.

In 1969, NBC aired a Trini Lopez variety special featuring surf guitar group The Ventures, and Nancy Ames as guests. [8] The soundtrack, released as "The Trini Lopez Show" has him singing his hits with The Ventures as his backing band.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Lopez moved into acting, though his film career was not as successful as his music. He continued his musical career with extensive tours of Europe and Latin America during this period; an attempt to break out by releasing a disco album in 1978 proved a flop. Lopez produced a single promoting the Coca-Cola soft drink Fresca in 1967.

In 1993, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him. [9]

In 2002, Lopez teamed with Art Greenhaw for Legacy: My Texas Roots. The album used the "Texas Roots Combo" including Lopez, Greenhaw, and Lopez's brother, Jesse. [10] Said reviewer Steve Leggett of All Music Guide, "The album has an easygoing feel very similar to Lopez's classic live sets from the 1960s, only it rocks a good deal harder." [11] Since then, Lopez has done charitable work and received honors such as being inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2003.

On May 15, 2008, his 71st birthday, Lopez was inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. [12]

Lopez was still recording and appearing live in recent years. He took part in a benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and has recently appeared as a guest performer in a number of shows held in Maastricht in the Netherlands with the Dutch violinist and composer André Rieu. Trini Lopez has continued to record, and in 2008, his 63rd album, "Ramblin Man,” was released. "El Immortal" was released in 2010 and in 2011, Trini released his 65th album "Into The Future.” [13]

Acting career

Lopez's first film role was in Marriage on the Rocks (1965), in which he made a cameo appearance in a nightclub scene; Lopez's soundtrack song, "Sinner Man", became a hit single (no. 54 pop/no. 12 adult contemporary). He was one of The Dirty Dozen (1967), appeared as himself in The Phynx (1970), and played the title role in Claudio Guzman's Antonio (1973). He made two appearances (playing different characters) on the television program, Adam-12. In 1977, he played the role of Julio Ramirez in “The Mystery of the Silent Scream” which was part of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries TV series.

Singles discography

YearSingle (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positionsAlbum
1958"The Right to Rock"
b/w "Just Once More"
Teenage Love Songs
1959"Rock On"
b/w "It Hurts to Be in Love" (from Teenage Love Songs)
Non-album tracks
"Yes You Do"
b/w "My Runaway Heart" (from Teenage Love Songs)
"Rock On"
b/w "Since I Don't Have You"
"Love Me Tonight"
b/w "Here Comes Sally" (Non-album track)
Teenage Love Songs
"I'm Grateful"
b/w "Don't Let Your Sweet Love Die" (Non-album track)
"(Won't You Be) My Queen for a Day"
b/w "Yes You Do"
Non-album tracks
"Nobody Loves Me"
bw "Nobody Listens to Our Teenage Problems" (from Teenage Love Songs)
1960"Jeanie Marie"
b/w "Schemer"
Teenage Love Songs
"The Search Goes On"
b/w "It Hurts to Be in Love" (from Teenage Love Songs)
Non-album track
"Then You Know (You've Been in Love)"
b/w "Don't Treat Me That Way" (Non-album track)
Teenage Love Songs
1961"You Broke the Only Heart"
b/w "One Heart, One Life, One Love"
b/w "Only in My Dreams"
Trini Lopez & Johnny Tores
1962"Sinner Not a Saint"
b/w "Where Can My Baby Be"
1963"Jeanie Marie"
b/w "Love Me Tonight"
Teenage Love Songs
"Don't Go"
b/w "It Seems"
Non-album tracks
b/w "Let It Be Known"
"La Bamba" (Part I)
b/w "La Bamba" (Part II) (Non-album track)
123Greatest Hits
"If I Had a Hammer"
b/w "Unchain My Heart"
33412Trini Lopez at PJ's
"Kansas City"23261335By Popular Demand!! More Trini Lopez at PJ's
"Lonesome Traveler"135
"La Bamba"
b/w "Granada"
Trini Lopez at PJ's
"Nobody Loves Me"
b/w "The Club for Broken Hearts" (from Teenage Love Songs)
Non-album track
1964"Sinner Not a Saint"
b/w "If"
103Trini Lopez & Johnny Tores
"Jailer, Bring Me Water"
b/w "You Can't Say Goodbye"
94106On the Move
"What Have I Got of My Own"
b/w "Ya Ya"
b/w "San Francisco De Assisi" (from The Second Latin Album)
42417The Folk Album
1965"Lemon Tree"
b/w "Pretty Eyes"
"Sad Tomorrows"
b/w "I've Lost My Love for You" (Non-album track)
948122The Love Album
"Are You Sincere"
b/w "You'll Be Sorry"
"Sinner Man"
b/w "Double Trouble" (from The Rhythm & Blues Album)
546412Trini Lopez Plays and Sings
"Regressa A Mi"
b/w "Mi Felicidad"
Non-album tracks
1966"Made in Paris"
b/w "Pretty Little Girl"
"The Search Goes On"
b/w "Chain of Love" (from Teenage Love Songs)
"I'm Comin' Home, Cindy"
b/w "The 32nd of May"
"La Bamba Pt. 1"
b/w "Trini's Tune" (from Trini)
86100978Greatest Hits
"Pancho Lopez"
b/w "Hall of Fame" (from Greatest Hits)
The Second Latin Album
"Takin' the Back Roads" /tagTrini Lopez in London
"Your Ever Changin' Mind"131
1967"Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now"
b/w "Love Letters"
"Up to Now"
b/w "In the Land of Plenty" (from Trini Lopez – Now!)
123Non-album tracks
"The Bramble Bush"
b/w "The Ballad of the Dirty Dozen"
b/w "I Wanna Be Free" (from Trini Lopez – Now!)
"It's a Great Life"
b/w "Let's Take A Walk"
It's a Great Life
1968"Sally Was a Good Old Girl"
b/w "It's a Great Life"
"Mental Journey"
b/w "Good Old Mountain Dew"
18Welcome to Trini Country
"Malagueña Salerosa"
b/w "Something Tells Me"
24Non-album tracks
"El Nino Del Tambor (The Little Drummer Boy)"
b/w "Noche De Paz (Silent Night adaption) / Let There Be Peace"
1969"Come a Little Bit Closer"
b/w "Pata Cum Cum" (first pressings)
"My Baby Loves Sad Songs" (later pressings)
121The Whole Enchilada
"Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying"
b/w "My Baby Loves Sad Songs"
"Love Story"
b/w "Games People Play"
Non-album tracks
1970"Five O'Clock World"
b/w "You Make My Day"
"Mexican Medicine Man"
b/w "Time to Get It Together"
"Mexican Medicine Man"
b/w "Su-Kal-De-Don"
"Let's Think About Living"
b/w "There Was a Crooked Man"
1971"Some Kind of Summer"
b/w "Poor Old Billy"
1972"Ruby Mountain"
b/w "Y Volvere"
b/w "Don't Burn Your Bridges Behind You"
Non-album tracks
1975"We Gotta Make It Together"
b/w "Bring Back the Sunshine"
"Somethin' 'Bout You Baby I Like"
b/w "Sweet Life"
1977"Sha La Boom Boom Yeah (Heavy Makes You Happy)"
b/w "Satisfaction"
"You Say Something Nice"
b/w "Sittin' Pretty in Atlantic City"
b/w "Beautiful People"
Transformed by Time
b/w "Trini's Medley"


Most albums are on the Reprise label, unless otherwise indicated.

Use of music

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  1. A Book of Prayers: To the Heavens from the Stars – Chuck Spinner – Google Books. January 31, 2008. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  2. Ssingings. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. September 11, 1971. pp. 20–. ISSN   0006-2510.
  3. Billboard – Google Books. May 15, 1965. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
  4. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 162. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  5. "Trini Lopez Standard". Vintage Guitars. Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  6. "Trini Lopez Deluxe". Vintage Guitars. Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  7. "Dave Grohl – Exclusive Studio Tour video". NME. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  8. Halterman, Del (July 1, 2009). "Walk-Don't Run - The Story of the Ventures". Retrieved October 26, 2017 via Google Books.
  9. "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  10. "Legacy: My Texas Roots - Trini Lopez - Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  11. "Legacy: My Texas Roots - Trini Lopez - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic . Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  12. "TRINI LOPEZ - ONLINE". Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  13. "Biography". Trini Lopez: Official Website. Retrieved January 7, 2016.