Richie Valens' Donna now?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Stranjluv101, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. Stranjluv101

    Stranjluv101 New Member Thread Starter

    Pomeroy, Ohio, USA
    I just rewatched "La Bamba", and I was wondering if anyone knows what she (the real Donna) looks like today (or when Richie was dating her?)

    The actress that played her in the film, Danielle Von Zerneck doesn't act much now, and photos of her are hard to find too.

  2. Roninblues

    Roninblues 猿も木から落ちる。
  3. -Alan

    -Alan Moderator Staff

    Connecticut, USA
    Ritchie Valens' high school sweetheart still vividly remembers the moment in the fall of 1958 when she first heard the ballad "Donna" that Valens had written for her. Donna Fox (then Donna Ludwig) was 15 years old and driving in her Ford convertible with her girlfriends.
    "The DJ said, 'Ritchie Valens new record' and it started out 'Oh Donna' and everybody in the car -- I probably had six girls in the car, at least five -- and they all started screaming so I actually didn't really even hear the song the first time. I kept on telling everybody to be quiet."

    Although Ritchie had told her on the phone he'd written a song for her, Fox had no idea he was going to record it.

    "It was a total surprise when I heard it on the radio," she said.

    Fox remembers Valens as a nice gentle boy who loved his family. Her conservative father, however, didn't approve of her dating him. The year was 1958 in the San Fernando Valley.

    "Of course, I didn't tell my father, but I would go out anyway. You did what you had to do," she said.

    Even after Valens' meteoric rise to fame, he continued to call her from gigs on the road. Then on Feb. 3, 1959, while Valens and fellow musicians Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper were on the Winter Dance Party tour, their plane crashed into an Iowa corn field. Valens was only 17.

    Fox remembers hearing about it from a girlfriend at school who had just heard it on the radio.

    "It was kind of like somebody hit you in the mouth," Fox said. "I was
    16. I had never experienced death before in my whole life."

    Fox went on to marry and have two daughters. Today, she is the branch manager of a mortgage business in Sacramento, and she has a 13-year-old grandson. Yet her relationship with Valens continues to affect her life, she said, and she's still close to Valens' four siblings.

    "They've always treated me like one of their own."

    A Google search revealed this page, but maybe someone else knows if this is the Donna Fox in question?
  4. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    'La Bamba' is one of my most favourite movies EVA!

    I was trying to research 'Donna Fox' but have not found much other that what has already been stated.

    where is she? what does she do now? any current info on the woman that is the target of Ritchie's 'Donna'?

    We should not forget these folks that influenced the music..

    John B Good likes this.
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