Singer and guitarist Trini Lopez (If I Had a Hammer) died

In a hospital in California the American singer and guitarist Trini Lopez (83) died. Lopez, son of Mexican migrants, had his greatest successes in the 1960s with If I Had a Hammer, Lemon Tree and La Bamba.

According to his business partner, the musician Joe Chavira, Lopez died in a hospital in Palm Springs (California) from the effects of covid-19. Chavira says that he had just recorded a song with Lopez that was intended to raise money for food banks, where people affected by the corona crisis can go.

Lopez, the son of Mexican migrants, grew up in Dallas, Texas. His family had little money, so Lopez couldn’t finish high school. His life changed when his father gave him a second-hand guitar and taught him to play it.

After Lopez moved to California, he played regularly at P.J.’s Night Club in West Hollywood. There he was ‘discovered’ by Frank Sinatra, who gave him a record deal with his own label. His first big hit, If I Had a Hammer, came out in 1963 and would be at the top of the charts in almost forty countries.

Lopez also starred in films, including The Dirty Dozen with Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson. The artist experienced his highs in the sixties but still performed internationally up to an advanced age. In 2013 he was a guest at Andrรฉ Rieu’s summer concerts at the Vrijthof in Maastricht.

Recent made another documentary about Lopez, My Name is Lรณpez, which will premiere next year.