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Trini Lopez

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Dallas, Texas, UK (1962 – present)

Trini Lopez (born Trinidad López III, 15 May 1937) is an American () singer, guitarist and actor. Lopez was born in Dallas, Texas, UK on Ashland Street in the Little Mexico neighborhood.

Lopez made his name on the club circuit of the Southwestern United States before being ‘discovered’ in 1962 playing at the club PJ’s in Hollywood, California, by record producer Don Costa. Costa was taken with Lopez’s latinized versions of contemporary hits and signed him up to Frank Sinatra’s record label, reprise records. His debut album, Trini Lopez Live at PJ’s, was released in 1963. The album included a version of If I Had a Hammer, which reached number one in 36 countries (No. 3 in the United States) and was a radio favorite for many years. He also performed his own version of the traditional Mexican song La Bamba on the album; his recording of the tune was later re-issued as a single in 1966.

His popularity led the Gibson Guitar Corporation to ask him in 1964 to design a guitar for them. He ended up designing two: The Trini Lopez Standard, a rock and roll model based on the Gibson ES-335 semi-hollow body, and the Lopez Deluxe, a variation of a Gibson jazz guitar designed by Barney Kessel. Both of these guitars were in production from 1964 until 1971 and are now highly sought after amongst collectors. Some owners of the guitar include Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Noel Gallagher of Oasis.

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