A Magical Magic

Trini Lopez, best remembered for his international hit rendition of “If I Had a Hammer” in 1963, began his musical career at the height of the early rock ‘n’ roll era of the 1950s, recording with producer Norman Petty (of Buddy Holly fame) before being signed to Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records by the early 1960s. It was during this decade that he experienced the most success, designing two guitar models for the Gibson Guitar Corporation and generating a series of Billboard single hits in the pop and easy listening/adult contemporary charts, such as “Up to Now” and “Come a Little Bit Closer.” Additionally, he became a top nightclub performer and initiated an acting career that lasted into the 1970s. As a musician, Lopez has more than 60 albums to his credit. And he was inducted into the National Latin Music Hall in New York City in 2003.
In this interview, Lopez shares his musical experiences, gratitude towards his fans, and future plans in the musical arena.

Jupiter Index: What was your earlist memory of music as a child?
Trini Lopez: My first memory of hearing music was on the radio and my father singing songs around the house which were Mexican songs.

Do you recall the songs you heard?
"Cu Cu Rhu Cuc Cu, Paloma," "Adalita," and "Malaguena Salarosa.” [Trini Lopez learned these songs from his father.]

Was it that period that drew you to sing and play music?
I wanted to sing and entertain mainly because of hearing my father singing and telling me about singing when he was young, and that he was a singer, musician, actor and a dancer, and tha got me interested in that idea of music.

Having made music history and performed for more theen 6 decades by playing rock, folk, R&B, Texas roots and Latin music -- how has this shaped who you are as a musician?
I do not know how music shaped me as a musician. Whenever people do something it is up to the public to decide how they are going to have an image of you.

Why do you think so many people are drawn to your music?
I have no idea why so many people are drawn to my music. All I know is that I can sing, I can play music with my guitar. It is a magical magic, why people are drawn to anyone with anyone with any kind of talent, it is an intangible thing.

Which musicians are you listening to currently?
I do not listen to any particular artist or album. I just enjoy music period. When I listen to the radio, I have my favorite station and I enjoy jazz, country, R&B, Latin and all music. The only person I idolized since I was a kid was Frank Sinatra and I still listen to his music more than anyone else.

In your spare time, how do you relax?
I like to watch television. I like motion pictures very much. I enjoy the stories on the film, the characters in the movie. I also love to sleep. I enjoy sleeping 9 to 10 hours a day.

Would you like to add anything else about music?
My future plans are to keep singing until God takes away my voice. I love to record very much because I like to create music and sound in the studio. I am very thankful to all my fans through out the world. I receive wonderful E-mails that make me cry, and I am so appreciate to my fans.

by Jeff Boyce and G. Burns