A Rockapaedia Obituary
Trini Lopez died aged eighty-three on 11th August, 2020, in Palm Springs, California, United States of America. He died from complications of COVID-19 and was not strictly survived by anyone since he had remained a lifelong bachelor and had no children.
Trini formed his first band in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA, when aged fifteen. In 1957 Trini and his group "The Big Beats" went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico and Norman secured for them a contract with Columbia Records, which released the single "Clark's Expedition"/"Big Boy", which were both instrumental. Trini 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.
Near the end of 1962, after the King contract had expired, Trini Lopez followed up on an offer by producer Snuff Garrett to join the post-Buddy Holly Crickets as vocalist. After a few weeks of auditions in Los Angeles, that idea came to nothing but he landed a steady engagement at a nightclub called PJ's, where his audience grew quite fast. He was heard there by Frank Sinatra, who had started his own label, Reprise Records, and who subsequently signed Trini to it.
Trini's debut live album, "Trini Lopez at PJ's" was released in 1963 and the album included a version of Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer", which reached number one in 36 countries and it sold over one million copies to be awarded a gold disc. He also performed his own version of the traditional Mexican song "La Bamba" on the album and his recording of the tune was later reissued as a single in 1966.
Trini Lopez scored thirteen chart singles through 1968, including "Lemon Tree" in 1965, "I'm Comin' Home, Cindy" in 1966, and "Sally Was a Good Old Girl" in 1968. He continued his musical career with extensive tours of Europe and Latin America during this period but an attempt to break out by releasing a disco album in 1978 proved to be a flop. Trini Lopez was still recording and appearing live in the years leading up to his death. He took part in a benefit concert to raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and appeared as a guest performer in a number of shows held in Maastricht in the Netherlands with the Dutch violinist and composer André Rieu. He continued to record and 'El Inmortal' was released in 2010 plus in the following year he released his sixty-fifth album: "Into The Future".