Ritchie Valens featured on The Will, career cut short 'the day the music died'

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Meeting his fate at only 17, it was not surprising that rock 'n' roll sensation Ritchie Valens did not have a will in place.

The estate of singer Ritchie Valens was featured on Investigation Discovery’s The Will: Family Secrets Revealed last night.

Ritchie Valens, born Richard Valenzuela, was on that tragic February 3, 1959 flight, “the day the music died.” A rock ‘n’ roll sensation at the age of only 17, Valens had yet to earn a great deal of money from his music. And, not surprisingly for such a young man, Valens did not have a will in place.

Shortly after Valens’ funeral, the fight for the royalties from his music began. Ritchie’s family was pitted against the man who discovered, promoted, produced and managed Valens, and the struggle continued for literally decades. The legal wrangling finally ended in the 1980s, which is also when the movie La Bamba was released, bringing the singer’s music back to life and back to the top of the charts.

Legendary Red Sox Hitter Ted Williams

Next week, on Nov. 1, The Will: Family Secrets Revealed will feature the estate of Ted Williams. According to Investigation Discovery:

In July 2002, legendary Red Sox hitter Ted Williams dies at the age of 83. Without informing his half-sister, Williams’ youngest children whisk away his body to be cryogenically preserved. But Williams’ official will requested cremation, and his eldest daughter takes to the courts to fight to have his body returned, dividing the family with allegations of manipulation, estrangement, and fraud…until a former employee at the cryonics company reports that Ted Williams’s body has met a horrifying fate.

Last week, the season premiere of The Will: Family Secrets Revealed featured the estate of country music queen Tammy Wynette:

Stay tuned.

The Will: Family Secrets Revealed airs on Investigation Discovery on Thursday nights at 9 p.m.

Image: Investigation Discovery

Video: Investigation Discovery/The Will: Family Secrets Revealed

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