Trinidad López III was born in Dallas, Texas on May 15, 1937, and at the tender age of 15 formed his first band, the Big Beats. Lopez played guitar; his repertoire consisted of Mexican folk songs, rhythm and blues hits and rock ’n’ roll favorites. The Big Beats played the local clubs, where Lopez met Buddy Holly. Holly referred him to his producer, Norman Petty, who helped the Big Beats and Trini get their first record deal, with Columbia Records. Unfortunately, Petty wanted them to be an instrumental outfit.