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Saturday, March 31, 2012


Thus far we have looked at the roots and early beginnings of the Eastside Sound from the late 1940's through the early 1960's. In order to continue examining and defining the Eastside Sound we must first look at the road we have traveled thus far.
  The end of World War II marked the return home of soldiers as well as the continuing migration of Mexiacans and other ethnic gropus to the greater Los Angeles area. They came to Los Angeles with hopes of better employment, higher wages and a decent place to raise their children.
  Why not?? Los Angeles had a warm climate and sandy beaches within a short driving distance. It had Hollywood and all it's stars, great night clubs for dancing & entertainment. Disneyland would be built in 1955 and even the Dodgers would move from Brooklyn into Chavez Ravine. Higher education would become an issue and East Los Angeles College would find it's permanent home and Cal State Los Angeles would be built.
  With the increase in the city's population came an increase in social, cultural, political and economic problems. Mexican-Americans needed a place to call home. They settled in East Los Angeles and it's surrounding communities, City Terrace, El Sereno, Boyle Heights, Montebello, Pacoima, El Monte, Pomona, Pico Rivera, Echo Park and Chavez Ravine (till the Dodgers came to town).
  Despite their struggles, Mexican-Americans could take pride in the musical and cultural richness they brought to their communities. Steeped in tradition they brought talent, enthusiasm, dedication and perserverance.

  But what is the "Eastside Sound"? To many collectors & historians it is the vocal duo sound which it it but as we will come to see it is a hybridization of many musical genres and styles. It continued to grow as it still does to this day because of the artists' abilities to adapt to the changing musical, social, cultural, economic and political struggles of the day. The world of music too often short sells the accomplishments and abilities of the Chicano artist. This is why I have put this site together and continue to keep alive the music I grew up with alive and to hopefully pass on an appreciation for this music to others.

If the Eastside Sound is a hybridization of musical styles and genres, how did it come about?

Los Angeles has always be a music mecca since the early 1900's For the puposes of our discussion of the Eastside Sound, we will begin in the late 1940's.

Traditional mariachi music was already in place. So were Carribean rhythms, i.e. Afro-Cuban music such as the rumba. So was jump blues and swing brought to us by Roy Milton and The Solid Senders among others. Add to this jazz, Latin jazz and fusion and there were certainly enough styles upon which to build a foundation. It was the hybridization of these styles that got the Eastside Sound ball rolling.

  Lalo Guerrero began doing his own spin on rancheras and introducing "boogie woogie" (jump blues) style into his music.
  Don Tosti would take his jazz & big band background and create "The Pachuco Boogie" enjoyed by the "zoot suit" crowd.
  Chico Sesma would also make his mark in the field of jazz & big band and then go on to influence Latinos as a disc jockey with his radio broadcasts.
  After you have digested all of these musical styles add on some rhythm & blues with the likes of Johnny Otis, Big Jay McNeely, Chuck Higgins and Joe Houston.
  The Armenta Brothers would be the fisrt to introduce Chicano rhythm & blues to East Los Angeles.

By the mid 1950's the Rock & Roll era would begin and Chico Sesma would turn Latin jazz into Latin Rock. More rockers would follow as youngsters in Los Angeles and the entire country would be engulfed by the beat. Bobby Rey, Gil Bernal, The Rhythm Rockers and Chuck Rio would perform in the L.A area & have fine recording careers.

The forgotten third of Rock & Roll, "doo wop" would captivate our hearts. Groups like The Jaguars, The Penguins, The Platters, The Feathers, The Medallions, Richard Berry & The Pharoahs, Jessie Belvin and his groups, the list goes on & on.

Whether Los Angeles was looking for their own version of Elvis Presley or not Little Julian Herrera came on the scene and became an overnight star. I do not know what he could have been but his voice & stage presence were breath taking.

Ritchie Valens ushered in the "teen era" and became the idol of millions. Chris Montez & Bobby Dominguez were teen stars in their own right.

Vocal duos like Chavez & Chaney, Pat & Lolly Vegas, The Perez Brothers, The Carlos Brothers, The Heartbreakers, Rene & Ray, Doug & Freddy, Alfred & Joe, Rosie & Ron, The Salas Brothers and many more would follow. This is why many collectors & historians say the eastside Sound is a vocal duo sound.

More vocal groups: The Sisters, The Story Tellers, The Velveteens, Rosie & The Originals, Yolanda & The Naturals.

With every change in musical style and taste, the Chicano artist was able to take what had come before and adapt his or her own musical talents to create a unique sound. In the mid 1960's and beyond the music became more complex and so did the Eastside Sound.

So what lies ahead?? The influences of surf music from the Beach Boys, soul from Motown, The Beatles & The British Invasion Bands, Garage Bands, Psychedelia and much much more. The story of the Eastside Sound continues and we will look at that in Part 2 of The Eastside Sound - A Retrospective Look.

Your comments are always welcome.



Here is the Alll Music Guide Review of the group:

In 1957, members of the Lamplighters from Delano, CA, joined up with members of a rival act, the Rhythm Aces, from nearby Tulare (both cities are just north of Bakersfield). They formed a new pachuco surf-and-soul combo called Al Garcia and the Rhythm Kings: multi-instrumentalist Al Garcia, guitarist Art Rodriguez, bassist Freddie Mendoza, drummer Manuel Garcia (Al's brother), and saxophonists Larry Silva and Vincent Bumatay. They continued to play in the landlocked Kern and San Joaquin Valley areas before their popularity spread to more populated areas of the state. Ultimately, they were touring the West Coast, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The group was put on hold when much of the group were drafted into the army -- Al and Bumatay recorded a single for the newly formed Reprise Records (with producer Ed Cobb) during this hiatus -- but re-formed in 1962 without Silva. That summer they met producer/talent scout Tony Hilder, whose connections among Hollywood-based indie labels enabled them to begin recording. They waxed surf-and-soul singles for a variety of labels -- including GNP Crescendo, Tollie, Northridge, Del-Fi, and Challenge -- under a variety of guises, including the Soul Kings. Exotic and Rockin' Instrumentals, 1963-1964 is a compilation of 13 of the group's instrumental rock & roll, surf, and exotica tracks from this halcyon era. Like many of the acts on the Del-Fi roster -- the Sentinals, the Centurions -- the Rhythm Kings combined Latin rock rhythms, mariachi-style horns, and surf guitar instros. Many instro standards from the band's repertoire are included here, like "Church Key" and "Intoxica"; both tracks were written by the venerable Norman Knowles, band manager and brilliant saxman for the Revels, a fixture on the Central Coast surf music scene. As an added bonus, this fine reissue -- with liner notes by Garcia's friend, Ray Baradat, and color photos -- features both sides of an all-instrumental single by the doo wop-ish Charades, who often played gigs with the Rhythm Kings in the East L.A. area (guitarist Rodriguez was also a member of their lineup, circa 1964). ~ Bryan Thomas, Rovi


Al Garcia & The Rhythm Kings "Exotic & Rockin' Instrumentals, 1963-1964 With Tracks By The Charades Band" Bacchus Archives (BA 1135) 1999, Bacchus Archives, a part of Dinysus Records Empire.


Soley for historial, educational & listening pleasure.


I have already profiled the recording career of the Vasquez Brothers, Pat & Lolly Vegas (see my Eastside Legends post. In 1966 while under contract with Mercury records they recorded an album entitled "Pat & Lolly Vegas At The Haunted House (Mercury MG 21059/SR 61059). The Hauted House was a popular Hollywood night clubs and Pat & Lolly had a brief gig as the house band.

  Prodeced by Leon Russell & Snuff Garrett, twelve tracks were recorded. The album would suggest that these tracks were recorded live but the sound is far from it. There is no audible crowd noise or stage patter. What we have is a 50/50 mix of soulful covers and original tunes. My favorite song on the album is the original tune "Any Old Time"

Pat Vegas (bass & vocals)

Lolly Vegas (guitar & vocals)

Track List:

01. In The Midnight Hour (Pickett-Cropper)
02. Walk On (Right Out Of My Life) (Pat & Lolly Vegas)
03. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (James Brown)
04. Under You (Pat & Lolly Vegas)
05. Let's Get It On (Pat & Lolly Vegas)
06. Baby, I Need Your Lovin' (Holland-Dozier-Holland)
07. Here I Go (Falling In Love Again) (Pat & Lolly Vegas)
08. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger-Richards)
09. Keep Me Uptight (Pat & Lolly Vegas)
10. Good Lovin' (Clark-Resnick)
11. Any Old Time (Pat & Lolly Vegas)
12. High Blood Pressure (H. Smith-J. Vincent)

This album is still available on vinyl and also on compact disc. PLEASE SUPPORT THE ARTISTS BY BUYING THEIR MUSIC!!


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.

Friday, March 30, 2012


                                              PAT & LOLLY VEGAS

Candido Albelando Vasquez (Lolly Vegas) and Patrick Morales Vasquez (Pat Vegas) were born in Fresno, California. The brothers were of mixed Yaqui/Shoshone and mexican descent. They would have a long & storied career and become part of the Eastside/Hollywood scene
  At an early the singing/guitar playing brothers began their musical careers backing and touring with Jimmy Clanton of "Just A Dream" fame. In 1961 the brothers relocated to Los Angeles.They became part of a surf band known as Avantis and would record the hit record "Let's Go" as The Routers. They would also record as The Sharks, The Markets and The Deuce Coupes.

  The brothers would meet manager/producer Bumps Blackwell who suggested they change their names to Pat & Lolly Vegas. In 1963, Pat & Volly Vegas recorded "Boom, Boom, Boom" and "Two Figures" for the Reprise label (Reprise 20199).

You May Listen To Pat & Lolly Vegas "Boom, Boom, Boom" Here:

 1964, they would record the Eastside classic (and one of my favorites) "Don't You Remember" and "Robot Walk" released on the Apogee label (Apogee 101)

You May Listen To Pat & Lolly Vegas "Don't You Remember" Here:

You May Listen To Pat & Lolly Vegas "Robot Walk" (a great dance craze) Here:

Pat & Lolly would record "Let's Get It On" and "Walk On" for the Mercury label in 1965 (Mercury 72509)

They would become part of the house band, The Shindogs, for the popular TV music show, Shindig.

"Walk On" would be used in the 1967 beach party film, "It's A Bikini World"

Pat & Lolly would perform "Twist & Shout" and "La Bamba" on Shindig in 1964.

Pat & Lolly would perform 'Write Me Baby" on Shindig in 1965.

Pat & Lolly Perform "Do You Wanna Dance" On Hollywood-A-Go-Go

Bumps Blackwell helped the brothers become the house band at Los Angeles' The Haunted House. In 1966, produced by Leon Russell and Snuff Garrett they would record an album for Mercury entitled "Pat & Lolly Vegas At the Haunted House" (Mercury 21059). The album was a mix of original songs and popular soul covers. I will spotlight this album in the VINYL CLASSICS section.

After being dropped by Mercury, the brothers would take some time off and return to the music scene with the group REDBONE in 1973 and score a major hit with "Come And Get Your Love. Their career with Redbone will be featured when we get into the 1970's Eastside sound

Pat & Lolly Vegas are credited with writing many hit records for other artists. They are true Eastside legends & helped shape the Eastside sound in the early 1960's. 

Lolly Vegas passed away on March 4,2010 in Reseda, California of lung cancer.


Soley for histoirical, educational pupsoses and for listening pleasure

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Not much is know about Yolanda Campos and her group, The Naturals except that they may have hailed from Corona, California. In October of 1962 they released a single "My Memories Of You" and "Jambone".
"My Memories Of You" was a remake of the Harptones standard.
  According to Steve Propes book "LA R&B vocal groups 1945-1965", Yolanda was backed vocally and instrumentally by bassist Clyde "Skip" Battin & bassist Johnny Leonard whom producer Kim Fowley knew from Gene Norman's Crecendo Club.
  The single was released on the Kimley label (Kimley 923)

You May Listen To Yolanda & The Naturals "My Memories Of You" Here:

Yolanda would also sing under the name Skip & Johnny " The Marathon" and "More Marathon" released on the Invicta label (Invicta 1000) in 1962.

Anyone with more information on Yolanda Campos & her recording career, please contact me.


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.


                                                           EDDIE QUINTEROS

I can't find much on Chicano rocker, Eddie Quinteros except that he hails from Dally City, California, located at the northernmost edge of San Mateo County, adjacent to San Francisco.
  Judging from his look and his singing style, he was probably influenced by Ritchie Valens. Though mainly a rockabilly singer of special interest to Eastside collectors in his teen doo wop song "Vivian".
   Eddie's first single was "Come Dance With Me" and "Vivian" recorded for the Brent label (Brent 7009) in 1960.

You May Listen To Eddie Quinteros "Come Dance With Me" Here:

You May Listen To Eddie Quinteros "Vivian" Here:

For Rockabilly collectors Eddie Quinteros also recorded these singles:

"Lookin' For My Baby"  (Brent 7012) 1960

"Lindy Lou"  (Brent 7014) 1960

"Come On Little Girl"  (Ed-Dar 102) 1962

If you have any information on the life & recording career of Eddie Quinteros please contact me.


Soley for historical, educational and listening pleasure.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Little D & The Bel-Aires were a group from La Puente, California.

Group members included:

David Robles (vocals,drums)
Kay Lavell (vocals)
Ellie Lavell (vocals)
Danny Berumen (guitar)
Arthur Robles (sax)
Bobby Bentancourt (sax)

In 1962, the group recorded "Are You My Girl" and "Scratch" for the Raft label (Raft 604). This record is currently on my want list and if anyone has a copy please contact me.

You May Listen To Little D & The Bel-Aires "Are You My Girl" Here:

In 1969, David, Ruben & Arthur Robles would record "Girl Of My Dreams" and "It Hurts Me" as David & Ruben for the Rampart label.


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.


Another great show from the people at Nick's Taste Of Texas in Covina, California on April 21, 2012. Talk about keeping the music alive, the Delgados Brothers headline this show with their incomparable style of Latin Blues & Soul. With their roots firmly implanted in the Eastside Sound, Bob (Thee Exotics) and Eddie (Thee Ambertones) are joined by younger brothers Steve & Joey.
  Los Fabulocos, featuring Kid Ramos are a band from the Los Angeles area. They bring together the best of the Eastside Sound and the Westside Sound. I have seen these guys a couple of times and they do a fantastic job on a couple of classics, "Crazy Crazy Baby" and "Just Because"
  Don't miss this great event.


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Ray "Spider Ray" Quinones & The Velveteens were a group out of Pomona California. (See my post Eastside Legends - The Velveteens).

Ray Quinones sang with Terri Bonilla as Terri & Johnny on "Your Tender Lips" and "I Miss You So".but this may not be the case Johnny Valenzuela sang with Terri Bonilla as Terri & Johnny They co-wrote the B side.

  He was also half of the vocal duo Rene & Ray who recorded the Eastside classic "Queen Of My Heart". (See my post Eastside Legends - Rene & Ray).

In February 1961, Spider Ray & The Velveteens recorded "Maria" and "While We Dance" released on the Boss label (Boss 102).

You May Listen To: Spider Ray & The Velveteens, "Maria" Here:


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Junior & The Preludes were a funk & Latin Soul band who hailed from Anaheim, California.

The band members were:

Gabriel Lopez Jr (vocals)

Ray Amezcua (bass)

Mickey Hernandez (lead vocalist & conga player)

Joe Escobar (sax)

Bill Newton (trumpet)

Gene Wing (trumpet)

Art Galvan (drums)

They recorded a 45rpm record released on the DeMarco label "Somebody Help Me" and "Do You Remember"

An album was release on the S&R label entitled "One Night With Jr & The Preludes" (S&R 818)

Tracks Include: Me Voy A Pueblo, Quiero Que Sepas, Donde Estan, Me Piden, El Viejito Bailador, Papa's Got A Brand New Bag, Noches Y Dias Perdidos, Las Cosas, El Ganso, El Cheque, Las Faldas Cortas, Don't Fight It

You May Listen To JR & The Preludes "Don't Fight It" Here:


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure purposes


Johnny Gamboa hails from Los Angeles, California. His musical background comes from his father Pepe who was an accomplished guitarist and designed one of the first three neck guitars
  At the age of four, Johnny was already singing and playing a variety of percussion instruments. By twelve he was playing guitar and singing the songs of the time. In his first year of high school, he formed his own band naming it Johnny & The Crowns.

The original Crowns  were Max Johnny & Danny. The band would later grow to 16 members and would include Jimmy Espinoza of Thee Midniters fame as a backing vocalist & bongo player.

In his senior year he was backing up the likes of  Little Richard, Kathy Young, Ron Holden, Marvin & Johnny & the Olympics
  In 1962, Johnny recorded "Why Lover" and "She's Never There" for Ron Barrett and Jack Nitzsche. The record was released on the Star Revue label (Star Revue 1003). "Why Lover" is one of the finest teen sounds ever recorded & the Star Revue release is extremely rare.

You May Listen To Johnny Gamboa "Why Lover" Here:

In 1964, The Johnny Gamboa Sextet played at The Salesian High School Rock & Roll Show and performed "Down At The Chicken Shack" and "Moody's Mood For Love". (See my post: VINYL CLASSICS - THE SALESIAN HIGH SCHOOL ROCK & ROLL SHOWS).

The Johnny Gamboa Sextet band members:

John Sargent - bass, alto sax, backing vocals
Tito Molina - guitar, vocals
Glen Grab - cello
Johnny Gamboa - piano, vibes, guitar, vocals
Hank Wolfe - drums, vocals
Unknown Member - 2nd cello

Johnny later signed a recording contract with Epic records.  In 1969, Johnny recorded "Good Feelin' Day" and "Kind & Good Woman" (Epic 5-10561)

Johnny became a very accomplished musician and learned to play 26 different instruments.

If you would like to hear more of Johnny's music, he has four CD releases.

"How Can I Compete" (2001)

"I Remember Joe" (2005)

"Man Of Wisdom" (2005)

I'm Still Here:

Johnny& The Crowns - In The Beginning (1959)


Solely for historical, educational and purposes and for listening pleasure

Saturday, March 17, 2012


This is a record which has been on my want list for quite some time and thanks to my firend, Doo Wop Eddie I finally have a copy.
  This was Little Julian's last record which was released on the Emmo label (Emmo 3302) circa 1963. After this record's release, Little Julian would dissapear into obscurity.
  Both sides of the record "Your Careless Love" and "You Will Cry" are classic Eastside Sound tunes. For more information on Little Julian and these songs please check my Eastside Legends post.

If anyone has any of the other records on my want list please contact me.


Soley for historical and educational purposes

Sunday, March 11, 2012


If you want to hear historical recordings, if you want to learn about great music of all genres or if you  just want music for your listening and dancing pleasure then the East LA Revue is the place for you.
  Steven Chavez, his staff and his fine hosts are keeping the music alive, past and present.

If you hurry you will find listed in the East La Revue Radio section a program that you surely will not want to miss.
  There is a radio documentary which aired on Los Angeles radio station KRLA on July 1, 1983 entitled "Eastside Sound Special". There is great music and interviews with the artists, producers and disc jockeys who helped shaped what we call "The Eastside Sound" The two part special has been edited together for your listening pleasure.

I would like to thank Steven Chavez, the East LA Revue and Rampart Records for sharing this historical broadcast with us. Please sign their guestbook and leave a comment and help support their site. The music and information they share has truly enriched my life and I know it will yours too.

Please follow this link to the East LA Revue site:


Soley for historical, educational & listening pleasure.


I don't have any real information on Bobby Dominguez other than he cut a rare teen record on the Donna label. For sure Bobby was from the Los Angeles area. There is a drummer named Bobby Dominguez who played with many band but I am not sure if he is the one.
  If anyone has photos or information on Bobby Dominguez aka Bobby Domino please contact me.

In 1961 Bobby Domino recorded "Your Love For Me" and "Marilyn" a rare teener for the Donna label. (Donna 1339).

You May Listen To Bobby Domino "Marilyn" Here:

You May Listen To Bobby Domino "Your Love For Me" Here:


For historical, educational and listening pleasure purposes.