The East Los Angeles Sound ... Special from the L.A. Weekly
EAST L.A. STORY
CM's Chicano Legends
Legends of Chicano Rock & Roll
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CHICANO LEGENDS GOSSIP
MUSIC NEWS, BREAKING STORIES
CHICANO ROCKER: FRANK ZUNIGA DIES
Bass player for the Premiers “Farmer John”
By Manuel Esparza www.chicano-magazine.com
EXCLUSIVE – Original bass player for the 60’s hit group The Premiers passed away December 23, 2010. Billy Cardenas, producer of that smash and classic Chicano Rock & Roll hit remembers Frank, “They were fifthteen year olds when I discovered them,” says Billy Cardenas, who created the East Los Angeles Chicano Sound with Rampart Records.
“They were young but very professional and toured the country with such artists as Bobby Freeman, The Crystals, The Shirelles. They shared the same show with The Supremes, as Farmer John swept the country while topping the Billboard and Cashbox charts.” Says Cardenas.
Mr. Cardenas tells CM that he will be among the family, friends and fans of Frank Zuniga services. Viewing begins at 11:00 a.m. Thursdays Jan 6 at Wiefelf Chapel, 6090 Vella Road, Palms Springs, CA 92264, followed by the Burial at Veterans Arlington Commentary 2:15 p.m., Located at 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, CA
On another sad note: Lawrence Perez of the Premiers recently lost his wife of many years Anita Perez.
Family and friends can send funds in care of Anita’s son Danny Perez. Check made to: Danny Perez (son) at Wells Fargo 3778240949 Check Memo: Anita Perez.
Viewing for Anita Perez, Weds 9:30 AM, Jan 5th at
Upland Chapel, 525 West 18th Street, Upland, followed by
Burial Belleview Memorial Park, Ontario, 1240 West G Street.
IN THE STUDIO WITH BILLY CARDENAS ... And East L.A's Chicano 60's duo THE HEARTBREAKERS !!
By Manuel Esparza/www.chicano-magazine.com
Legendary record producer Billy Cardenas, you might recall one of his biggest hits to fame, “Framer John,” recorded by The Premiers. Cardenas, after several years of retirement from the music business is back with full speed as he is bringing back one of the original Chicano stars of the 60’s, that legendary duo of The Heatbreakers, who are brothers Benny and Joe Rodriguez, created the East L.A. Sound with their classic hit, “Cradle Rock,” who can forget that ending line, “Down will come baby, cradle and all?”
Today, The “Original” Heartbreakers reunite with Billy Cardenas and other Chicano greats; key figures such as Mark Guerrero of Mark and The Escorts, who is the son of the great legendary Godfather of Chicano Rock, Lalo Guerrero.
Joining the cast of studio players is a very special guest Del Fi Records original star Chan Romero, fans will remember his huge smash rock and roll hit, “Hippy, Hippy Shake.” Chan is looking kool as ever but it is Billy Cardenas who is in great shape, spirit, mind and soul as he directs his musical All-Stars on such treasures as mentioned “Cradle Rock,” along with “I Don’t Care,” written by Chan Romero and showcasing the guitar talents of Mark Guerrero.
One song that stands out as the gem of the three that were chosen for an up-coming CD release on The Heartbreakers, is the tune “Please Answer,” written by 13-year old Benny Rodriguez back in the day!! For more on this Chicano legend project, keep it here at Chicano Magazine for the Exclusive !!
There is also news that The Heartbreakers might put Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford’s “Money That’s What I Want,”
onto the up-coming release, kool.
Tribute to educator Jaime Escalante "Stand and Deliver" CD now available- The new CD, compiled and released by East L.A.'s legendary singer Little Ray Jimenez, aka Monchie Jimenez, features tracks by The Delgado Brothers, Chico, Steve Salas, Geree Gonzalez, Elijah, Chan Romero, yours truly, and other Chicano and Eastside luminaries.
Proceeds go to the legendary Garfield High School teacher who was portrayed in the motion picture "Stand and Deliver" by Edward James Olmos. Escalante, who taught and inspired a generation of students in East L.A., is very ill and facing mounting medical bills.
For more info contact Vista Entertainment at (323) 888-9884 or email@example.com.
Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles
The first Mexican American rock star, teenager Ritchie Valens (born Valenzuela), best known for his rendition of "La Bamba," died along with Buddy Holly in a plane crash on his first national tour.
Rising like a sleeping giant, music from the barrios of East Los Angeles began to get heard. Whittier Blvd was brimming with excitement. It was a wonderful time to be young...
— Little Willie G, Thee Midniters
Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles, produced, written, directed and edited by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jon Wilkman, tells the lively and inspiring story of how generations of young people in America's largest Mexican American community — caught between two cultures and not fully accepted in either — created a unique musical voice and in the process found and proudly expressed their cultural identity.
Narrated by Edward James Olmos, this lively one-hour documentary combines intimate interviews, rare archival film and photographs with exuberant music. Chicano Rock! is also an entertaining and informative journey through more than half a century of America's multicultural past. The story begins with Lalo Guerrero, a National Medal of the Arts honoree known as the Father of Chicano Rock. Arriving in Los Angeles in the late 1930s, Lalo found a city bursting with ambition, even in the last days of the Great Depression. During the war years that followed, many young Mexican Americans defied prejudice and stereotypes, adopting zoot suit fashions and a Spanglish slang called calo. Lalo Guerrero and his friend bandleader Don Tosti captured their spirit in music, mixing swing and boogie woogie in a cross-cultural dialog between African American, Anglo and Mexican American influences.
El Chicano, with Ersi Arvisu as lead singer, gained national fame in the 1970s and still performs today.
The 1950s brought rhythm and blues and the roots of rock 'n' roll. Mexican Americans were among first to catch the beat. Ritchie Valens, born Richard Valenzuela in the San Fernando Valley, introduced a Latin flair to early rock. His death in a 1959 plane crash, when he was only seventeen, left a tragic legacy, but only inspired a new generation in the 1960s.
East Los Angeles witnessed a surge of creativity, and a renaissance of art, music and politics. Leading the way in music was the band Cannibal and the Headhunters, five guys from the projects who recorded a national hit, "Land of a Thousand Dances," and almost overnight found themselves opening for the Beatles on the British superstars' 1965 tour. That same year, Thee Midniters hit the charts with "Whittier Blvd.," an anthem to East L.A.'s most famous street, the home of a late-night cruising scene that expressed the California car culture that Mexican Americans were making their own.
Grammy Award-winning Los Lobos, the trail-blazing band that "put it all together," began in 1973 as Los Lobos del Este Los Angeles.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, when civil rights and the Vietnam War were compelling issues, young Mexican Americans proudly called themselves Chicanos (once considered a derogatory term), and many took to as the streets to stand up for their rights. Bands like Tierra and El Chicano created new music that "said something" about Chicano heritage and their struggles for equality and social justice.
In the 1970s, the cross-cultural threads of Chicano heritage — American and Mexican, English and Spanish — came triumphantly together with Los Lobos, the Eastside band that realized the promise first expressed by Lalo Guerrero, Don Tosti and Ritchie Valens, and brought the unique blend of Chicano music to Grammy Award-winning international prominence. Today, new bands such as Quetzal and Ozomatli continue East L.A.'s innovative musical traditions.
Chicano Rock! The Sounds of East Los Angeles is a long overdue celebration of more than 60 years of music and social change, but it also offers inspiring and unexpected
VISIT PBS OFFICAL WEBSITE: www.pbs.org/chicanorock/
Lalo Guerrero's Classic "Pancho Claus" is now available as a download !!
A Lalo Guerrero Christmas compilation album is now available at amazon.com and Napster, and soon to be on i tunes. The 9 song collection is called "Pancho Claus & Other Holiday Favorites. You can purchase the songs individually or all together as an album. There are three different versions of "Pancho Claus": the original from 1956, a 1969 version with Mark Guerrero, Rick Rosas, and Ernie Hernandez as the backup band, and a 1981 version with Conrad Lozano and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos backing Lalo. Other songs on the collection include "Christmas In Mexico," "Mario From the Barrio," "La Tamalada," "Las Posadas," "Regalo de Navidad," and "Feliz Año Nuevo."
Pancho Claus & Other Holiday Favorites"
"Pancho Claus & Other Holiday Favorites can be purchased at Amazon.com for only $6.99
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