Bob Keane, Del-Fi Records creator, was 87 *

ritchievalensalbum.jpgUnofficial word from a former Del-Fi employee on Facebook is that Bob Keane, the record producer who signed Ritchie Valens out of Pacoima in 1958, died over the weekend. Keane was played by Joe Pantoliano in the Valens biopic "La Bamba." From Wikipedia:

In May 1958, Keane discovered Ritchie Valens performing a Saturday matinee show in a movie theatre in Pacoima and invited Valens to audition in the basement of his home, where he had set up a small recording studio. A formal contract was signed, and Valens and Keane spent hours in the basement working on songs together. Among the songs was "Come On Let's Go", which was recorded in Gold Star Studios in July 1958, and released as Valens' first single soon after. This single, and the follow-up, "Donna" b/w "La Bamba", were smash hits. Keane served as Valens' manager as well as producer, booking shows for him across America and several TV performances....

Other notable artists on Del-Fi over the next few years included Chan Romero, best known for his song "Hippy Hippy Shake", Little Caesar and the Romans, Ron Holden, Johnny Crawford, Brenda Holloway, the first records released by Frank Zappa, and surf bands The Surfaris, The Lively Ones and The Centurions.

Keane's autobiography is "The Oracle of Del-Fi: My Life in Music With Ritchie Valens, Frank Zappa, Barry White, Sam Cooke and Other Legends."

* Update: Dennis McLlellan's L.A. Times obit.

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