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Friday, October 14, 2011


Though not often mentioned in literary pieces on the Eastside Sound, the musical career of Chris Montez can not be overlooked when examining the Los Angeles music scene of the early 1960's.

Ezekiel Christopher Montanez was born in Los Angeles, California on January 17, 1943. He grew up in Hawthorne, California and was influenced by his Hispanic culture and the rock & roll sucess of Ritchie Valens. As a youth, he began singing rancheras with his brothers, learned to play guitar and while at Hawthorne High School formed a band and started writing his own songs. He attended Hawthorne High the same time the Beach Boys did and even jammed at Brian Wilson's home.
  Chris Montez would go on to be a teen sensation and many of his records are highly sought after by collectors of the "Teen Sound"
  At the age of 17, Chris recorded his first single as Chris Montez & The Invincibles entitled "She's My Rockin Baby" for the Norton label.

In 1960 Chris would record my favorite track "They Say" backed with "I Lost My Baby" for the Guaranteed label.

You May Listen To Chris Montez "They Say" Here:

You May Listen To Chris Montez "I Lost My Baby" Here:

In 1962, producer Jim Lee help promote Chris by forming a label called Monogram. Chris would have much success for Monogram and I will focus on those records which are the best & most essential.

The first release for Monogram was "All You Had To Do" and "Love Me" (Monogram 500)

You May Listen To Chris Montez "All You Had To Do" Here:

You May Listen To Chris Montez "Love Me" Here:

The second single also released in 1962 was "Let's Dance" and "You're The One" (Monogram 505)

"Let's Dance" would reach Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.

You May Listen To "Chris Montez "Let's Dance" Here:

You May Listen To Chris Montez "You're The One" Here:

The next single for Monogram was "Tell Me (It's Not Over)" and "Some Kinda Fun" in 1963 (Monogram 507)

You May Listen To Chris Montez "Tell Me (It's Not Over) " Here:

You May Listen To Chris Montez "Some Kinda Fun" Here:

In 1964 Kathy Young (Of Kathy Young & The Innocents fame "A Thousand Stars") would join the Monogram label and her voice was dubbed on to two of Chris' hits. "You're The One" and "All You Had To Do (Was Tell Me)" (Monogram 517)

You May Listen To Chris & Kathy "You're The One" Here:

You May Listen To Chris & Kathy "All You Had To Do (Was Tell Me)" Here:

The duo would team up again on "It Takes Two" and "Shoot That Curl" (Monogram 520) also released in 1964.

You May Listen To "It Takes Two" Here:

You May Listen To Chris & Kathy "Shoot That Curl" Here:

Chris Montez would tour with many of the "heavy weight" artists of the day such as Clyde McPhatter, The Platters, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles and The Beatles. He would enjoy just as much fame in the U.K ans in the U.S.

In 1965 Chris Montez would move to the A&M label and mentored by the great Herb Alpert his music would take a mor middle-of-the road approach and he would again enjoy success. In November 1965 A&M Records would release "Call Me" (A&M 780) which relach Number 22 on the Billboard charts.

You May Listen To Chris Montez "Call Me" Here:

The next big hit for Chris was "The More I See You" released in 1966. (A&M 796). It would rech Number 16 on the Billboard charts.

You May Listen To Chris Montez "The More I See You" Here:

Chris Montez Albums:

The More I See You Album 1966 (A&M)

Time After Time Album (A&M)

                                                              Foolin' Around Album (A&M)

Watch What Happens Album (A&M)

Chris Montez CDs:

"Let's Dance - The Monogram Sides"

This compact disc is essential to any Chris Montez collection & contains the singles from the Monogram label. (Ace Record Label)

"Call Me - The A&M Years"

The essential companion compact disc containing the A&M singles (Eclipse Record label)

Chris continues to perform live and appeared at Mi Hacienda in Pico Rivera in March.

To learn more about Chris Montez please read this article by Mark Guerrero entitled:
"Chris Montez: Pop & Rock Hitmaker of the 60's" Here:


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.

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