Trini Lopez recorded a series of upbeat tunes for Reprise during the mid-'60s, including a smash rendering of the folk standard "If I Had a Hammer" in 1963. The Dallas native cut some Ritchie Valens-influenced rockers for the King label prior to his discovery by producer Don Costa. Lopez's hits capture the excitement of his live performances, and his driving renditions of "Kansas City" (1963), "Lemon Tree" (1965), and "I'm Comin' Home, Cindy" (1966) were substantial sellers. Reportedly one of Dean Martin's favorite performers, Lopez hosted his own network TV variety program and co-starred as one of The Dirty Dozen in the popular 1967 movie. ~ Bill Dahl
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