Trini Lopez, the pop singer and guitarist who also played in Robert Aldrich’s “The Dirty Dozen”, died on Tuesday of complications from COVID-19.
Palm Springs Life magazine reported his death for the first time; He is a longtime resident of the desert. Filmmakers P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes recently completed a documentary about his life, which was featured in the magazine.
Born in Trinidad Lopez III in Dallas, Texas, his parents were from Mexico. Lopez started playing in bands at the age of 15 and in 1958 his Big Beats group signed with Columbia Records after recording with Buddy Holly producer Norman Petty. Lopez went solo shortly after and signed to King Records, with whom he released a series of unsuccessful singles before leaving the label in 1962. He quickly scored residency at PJ’s nightclub in Los Angeles. where Frank Sinatra watched his show and signed him. Reprise Records in 1963.
That year, his debut album, “Trini Lopez at PJ’s”, which included a cover of “If I Had a Hammer”, was a huge global hit, topping charts in many countries and reaching number one. 3rd in America. Another live album followed, along with more hits over the next few years, including “Lemon Tree”, “I’m Comin ‘Home, Cindy”, “Sally Was a Good Old Girl”, “Michael” , “Gonna Get Along Without Ya ‘Now” and “Bush Bramble.”
He starred in the 1967 fictional World War II film “The Dirty Dozen” alongside stars such as Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, John Cassavetes, Lee Marvin, Donald Sutherland and Telly Savalas, but is known. to many more of them at that time because of his successful music career. Lopez also appeared on television in “Adam-12” and “The Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew Mysteries.” During the peak of popularity in the mid-1960s, he designed two guitars for the Gibson Guitar Company.
While his chart success and acting roles ended after the 1960s, he continued to release albums and perform regularly – especially in Las Vegas and his hometown of Palm Springs. He was awarded a star on Palm Springs Avenue of Stars in 1993 and on Las Vegas’ Avenue of Stars 2008.
Information about survivors was not immediately available.