PACOIMA ( — A stretch of the Golden State (5) Freeway will be named for Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Ritchie Valens, who grew up in Pacoima.

(credit: CBS)

The portion between Hollywood (170) and the Ronald Reagan (118) freeways will be renamed the “Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway.”

The “La Bamba” singer was raised in Pacoima, before he became a rock star who was eventually inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

“Ritchie’s promising career ended prematurely after a tragic plane accident, but his memory lives on through his music and the cultural influences he had on society,” Pacoima Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra said in a statement. Bocanegra authored the proposal to name the freeway after Valens.

According to Bocanegra, Valens attended Pacoima Junior High School and became known for bringing his guitar to school to sing songs for friends. He later played at dances, gatherings, and parties throughout the Northeast San Fernando Valley with “The Silhouettes.”

He was later nicknamed the “Little Richard of the Valley.”


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