Trini Lopez is a American singer and actor who had 16 Top 40 songs on the charts from 1963 through 1968. He was born Trinidad López III in the Little Mexico neighborhood Dallas, Texas on May 15, 1937. He started performing with his own band when he was 15 years old and caught the eye of rock and roll legend Buddy Holly, who recommended him to a music producer who signed Lopez and his band, “The Big Beats”, to Columbia Records.
Lopez eventually quit “The Big Beats” to go solo, but none of the singles he cut made the charts. He moved to Los Angeles to audition as a vocalist for Holly’s old band “The Crickets”, but didn’t get the job. Performing in night clubs, he was discovered by Frank Sinatra, who signed Lopez to his label, Reprise Records.
His cover of “If I Had a Hammer” from his first album, which was released in 1963, made it to #3 on the charts, eventually earning a gold disc with sales exceeding one million copies. His other big hits were “Lemon Tree” and “I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy”, both of which made it to #2 on the Easy Listening chart, and “Michael”, “Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now” and “The Bramble Bush”, which made it to $7, #6 and #4, respectively.
Trini Lopez was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 2003.