This song was only a modest hit when it was released in November, 1958, but it became far more popular when the Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba
was released in 1987. The movie was a big deal because it was the first major, mainstream Hollywood film with a Hispanic subject. The movie was released in the United States in both Spanish and English versions, and Coca-Cola did a marketing tie-in targeting the growing Hispanic population in America - a population that would grow considerably in size and influence over the next several years.
The movie was made with the assistance and blessing of the Valens family, and starred Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie. Marshall Crenshaw played Buddy Holly, Brian Setzer played Eddie Cochran, and Taylor Hackford was the director. The music in the film, including the new version of the title track, was performed by Los Lobos
. Their version went to #1 in both the UK and US. When we spoke with Louie Perez of Los Lobos
, he said that the Valens family asked them to do the film. "For us, it was to bring attention to him and his legacy," he said. "We did it out of really believing in his story."