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Thursday, April 26, 2012



My most sincere gratitude goes out to Max Uballez for correcting some of the text & helping me get the story right. Max is working on a  Romancers compilation CD scheduled for release in the coming months.
For more information on Max, The Romancers and CD releases please visit his site by following this link.

Early Group:

Max Uballez (guitar, vocals)
Richard Provincio (guitar)
Andy Tesso (guitar)
Manuel "Magoo" Rodriguez (bass, vocals)
Chris Pascual (bass, vocals)
David Brill (drums)
Manuel Mosqueda (drums)
Joe Whiteman (sax)
Armando Mora (sax)
Bobby Marty (sax)
David Bajorquez (sax)
Jimmy Pascual (guitar)

Linda Records group:

Max Uballez (guitar, vocals)
Bobby Hernandez (guitar, vocals)
Manuel "Magoo" Rodriguez (bass, vocals)
Ralph Ventura (sax, trumpet & vocals)
Manuel Mosqueda (drums, vocals)
Cesar Valverde (sax)
Johnny Diaz (guitar & vocals)

The Romancers were the first East L.A. band  to record an album and were a huge influence on the Eastside Sound from the early to mid 1960's. They were also the first East L.A. band to work with the team of Billy Cardenas & Eddie Davis.

The early members of the group lived in the Lincoln Heights district of East Los Angeles and they attended Lincoln High School. The Romancers met Billy Cardenas when Billy asked the band to perform at a party at Billy's home. Billy took an immediate liking to the group and especially lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Max Uballez who sounded very much like Ritchie Valens.

Billy called Bob Keane (Del-Fi/Donna Records) who had recorded Ritchie Valens and got Max an audition. There, Max Uballez recorded a song he was working on called "You'd Better" For some reason Keane decided not to release it or perhaps took too long in deciding so Billy took Max & The Romancers to Magic Circle Records in Santa Monica, CA and re-recorded the tune. The promotion man at Magic Circle decided to use the name Maximillian on the single's release. The song got immediate airplay on radio station KFWB.

Released in 1962, Maximillian 'You'd Better" with rocker, "Butterball" (written by Billy Cardenas) on the Magic Circle label (Magic Circle 4226).

Bob Keane decided he wanted to keep Max on his label so Billy & Max returned to De-Fi where Max cut two tracks released under the name Max Uballes on his Donna label (Donna 1377) in 1962.

This record is currently on my "want list" and I am need of a scan of the flip side, "Shirley"

The release of this record caused legal problems with Magic Circle and Max was unable to record as a vocalist because of the contract his mother had signed.

This prompted Max to write two instrumentals "Slauson Shuffle" and "All Aboard" which were release in 1963 on the Del-Fi label (Del-Fi 4225).

After the session Keane asked the group if they had any more songs. They wrote seven more songs and did three covers and an album was put together in five hours time. The album was called "Do the Slauson" and it was released on the Del-Fi label (Del-Fi 1245) in 1963.

This album will be reviewed in the Vinyl Classics section.

The success of "Do The Slauson" prompted Del-Fi to release another Romancers instrumental album. "Let's Do The Swim" was released in 1963 on Del-Fi's subsidiary label Selma Records (Selma 1501)

This album will be reviewed in the Vinyl Classics section.

In 1995 Del-Fi would release the album on compact disc as "The Slauson Shuffle" and includes tracks from both of their albums (Del-Fi DFCD 71252-2).

This CD is currently still available and is a must for all Eastside Sound collectors.

By this time The Romancers were honing their skills and gaining popularity in the East Los Angeles area. A girls social club called "The Romancerettes" was formed and they helped promote dances at the local halls. The sound they created would influence other east L.A. bands such as The Premiers, Cannibal & The Headhunters, The Atlanctics & The Blendells and Max would write songs for these groups.

The Romancers became the house band at El Monte Legion Stadium but would have a falling out with manager, Bill Cardenas. Many of the band members left with Max and continued on their own. Eddie Davis saw The Romancers play at the Rainbow Gardens in Pomona and he asked them into his studio to record. The group now consisted of Max Uballes on guitar & vocals, Bobby Hernandez on lead guitar, Johnny Diaz on guitar, Cesar Valverde on sax, Magoo Rodriguez on bass & vocals and Manuel Mosqueda on drums & vocals.

The Romancers first single for Eddie Davis' Linda Records would be " Don't Let Her Go" and "I Did The Wrong Thing" released in 1964 (Linda 117).

In 1965, The Romancers would record "My Heart Cries" and "Tell Her I Love Her" released on the Linda label (Linda 119). "My Heart Cries" is a remake of the Etta & Harvey tune and is a true Eastside classic

For their third single on the Linda label The Romancers recorded "Do You Cry" and "Love's The Thing" also in 1965 (Linda 120)

In 1966, The Romancers would release their fourth single for Eddie Davis & Linda Records "She Give Me Love" and "Take My Heart" (Linda 124)

Also in 1966 The Romancers would release their fifth and final single for the Linda label. "She Took My Oldsmobile" and "That's Why I Love You" (Linda 125)

Also in 1966, The Romancers would re-release two of their songs as The Smoke Rings. "Love's The Thing" and "She Gives Me Love" would be released on the Dot label (Dot 16975) and on the Prospect label (Prospect 101)

The Romancers had a fine body of work. They have been labeled a garage band by most music collectors and therefore their records are highly collectible and of great value.

One other note on The Romancers, they were the backing band on The Heartbreakers song "Everytime I See You" with Frank Zappa on lead guitar. (See The Heartbreakers in Eastside Legends section).

Max Uballez would go on to form another band, Macondo on the early 1970's.




Soley for historical & educational purposes and for listening pleasure.

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