Today in 1937 singer Trini Lopez was born in Dallas, Texas. Lopez who is celebrating his 80th birthday is the true embodiment of the American Dream. Born to musically-inclined Mexican immigrants, he was able to rise above his meager beginnings and during a time that Mexican-American entertainers were almost unheard of.
Early and often in his career he was urged to drop the “Lopez” last name.
Lopez counts Buddy Holly as a mentor and Frank Sinatra as the person who signed him to his first big record deal. His first album, “Trini Lopez at P.J.’s” contained his great hit ‘If I Had a Hammer”, selling over 1 million copies. His other chart topping hits include “Michael” and “The Bramble Bush”, he had 16 Top 40 songs from 1963 through 1968. In 2003 Lopez was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.
The singer tried his hand at acting and starred in some big name films like “The Dirty Dozen” but he did not find the success he did with singing and eventually focused solely on his music career. He counts the original “Brat Pack” members as some of his best friends including Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
Lopez retired from touring in 1981 but this tireless Taurus continues to produce music, in 2011 he released his 65th album “Into the Future”.