By Yvette Tello
Trini Lopez, singing su- perstar who broke barriers, dies at the age of 83. His blend of American folk, Latin and rockabilly music captivated listeners world- wide. His arrangements were those that people could dance to. He died of complications of Co- vid-19. Trinidad Lopez III was born in Dallas on May 15 1937, at a time when white Texans “treated us Mexicans worse than the blacks,” Lopez told inter- viewer Gary James. He started playing in bands as a teenager. Because of the style of music he sang, industry skeptics told him
he needed to change his name as most Latino’s had to because they did not be- lieve anyone would buy an album from an artist with a latino name.
In 1963, he released his debut album, “Trini Lopez at PJ’s,” which featured a version of “If I Had a Hammer” that became his first Top 10 hit in the United States. His 1965 version of the folk song “Lemon Tree’’ was a Top 20 song on Billboard. Gib- son guitars asked Lopez to design two acoustic guitars, both of which are highly sought after collectibles today. Lopez also acted and played one
of the “Dirty Dozen” in the 1967 movie. Lopez had the support of Frank Sinatra and Buddy Holly. His music was produced by Frank Sinatra’s con- ductor and arranged by Don Costa. During a tour across Europe and Latin America, Lopez drew more encores than the Beatles at the Olympia Concert Hall in Paris, played before 23,000 listeners at packed Berlin Arena, drew an audience of 60,000 in Buenos Ai-
res and broke the atten- dance record at the popular Terraz Casino nightclub in Mexico City according to billboard magazine.