Oh Donna | The Donna Fox and Ritchie Valens Connection

“I had a girl, Donna was her name”

If I had a dollar for every guy who sang that to me thinking they were the first guy ever to do so, I’d be set on Starbuck’s lattes for a year.  Ok, a week.  Alright, I could get one tall latte (have you seen how expensive these things have gotten?)

What I didn’t know until a few months ago, was the close connection I had to the hit Ritchie Valens song.

Ritchie Valens of course wrote the song “Donna” for his high school sweetheart, Donna Ludwig.  The song hit the billboard top 10 just eight months before Valens died far too young in a plane crash on February 3, 1959.  Don McLean called this “The Day The Music Died” since Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper were also on board that plane.

So, where’s the connection to me and the song?  Let’s move further in the lyrics…

I had a girl
Donna was her name
Since she left me
I’ve never been the same
‘Cause I love my girl
Donna, where can you be”

Where can you be indeed, Donna Ludwig?

Well, turns out Donna Ludwig got married (those of you who immediately got the connection with Buddy Holly and Peggy Sue got married get extra pop culture points).

Thing is, she married someone by the last name of Fox, becoming, of course, Donna Fox!

This explains why when you do a Google Search, even though I dominate the search engine results for searches for Donna Fox, you’ll often get a related or suggested search from Google for “Donna Ludwig”

Donna Fox Ludwig Ritchie Valens search

See the woman cut off on the lower left hand side of the search?  Well, that’s none of than Donna Ludwig Fox, the inspiration for Ritchie’s Song.

So where is she now?  She’s a well respected member of her Sacramento, California community, a grandmother, and branch manager of her real estate office.

Apparently she still makes appearances for Valens-related charity events.

Here’s a YouTube interview of her from what seems like some time ago
Donna Ludwig Fox

She looks like a lovely woman, and I hope to meet her someday.

After all, she’s a Foxy Donna Fox like me!

Click here to see where Oh Donna (Ludwig) Fox is now…


  • Bebe commented on March 13, 2011 Reply

    Oh i really envy the way you post topics, how i wish i could write like that. :)

  • iyer commented on May 23, 2011 Reply

    I really really wud love to meet her, see her near me oneday or rather cuz m a big fan of Ritchie. He’s like my other soul which is music. He inspires me through lot. I’ve read those stories, watchd those movies. M thrill to meet donna.
    Iyer Hungyo.
    Delhi, India

  • Donna Fox commented on December 16, 2011 Reply

    But I am REALLY Donna L. Fox by birth!!! You guys stole my name!

  • Leeann commented on March 26, 2012 Reply

    well you DO kind of look like the actress that played her in the movie La Bamba! ;)

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