The Ambertones, from left: Jimmy Alvarez (on drums), Eddie Delgado (above on bass), Mike Sandoval (guitar), Frank Vasquez, Danny Medina, Tony Cardenas (sax), and Henry Hernandez (guitar).
The original lineup was:
Ray Arriola - sax
Henry Hernandez - lead guitar
Mike Sandoval - rhythm guitar
Eddie Delgado - bass and vocals
Danny Medina - keyboards
Jimmy Alvarez - drums
Later members included:
Frank Vasquez (Frank Olvera?) - vocals
Charlie Muñoz - vocals
Tony Cardenas (or is it Tony Duran?) - saxophone
Henry Sarnoff joined on piano and organ in 1966
Ruben Alvarez - drums
Next to Thee Midniters probably my favorite Eastside band. The Ambertones were major contibutors toward the Eastside Sound because of their diverse playing styles. Blues, R&B, soul, garage, doo wop, surf. The Ambertones could play them all.
The Ambertones began as as a band called The Scepters while the members were attending Roosevelt & Garfield High Schhol in East Los Angeles. Like many other Eastside bands they started playing surf music. By 1963 they started doing R&B covers. They came up with a new name, The Ambertones because one of the members wore an amber jacket.They played at high school teen dances & at local venues like the Union Hall and would win the first Battle of the Bands held at the Hollywood Palladium.
The group did go through several member and label changes from 1963-1969.
The Ambertones first recorded for the G.N.P Crescendo label in 1963. "Charlena" (a remake of the Sevilles classic wriiten by Chavez & Chaney) and "Bandido" (written by Manny Chavez) (GNP 329).
For their second single, The Ambertones moved to the Dottie label owned by their manager Leonard Mamola. "Chocolate Covered Ants" (written by Mamola) and "One Summer Night" (The 1958 Danleers doo wop classic written by Danny Webb (but mistakenly credited to Mamola). The record was released in 1965 (Dottie 1129)
Their third single and second single for Dottie was "I Need Someone" and "If I Do" released in October 1965 (Dottie 1130). "I Need Someone" is in my top ten of all Eastside classics and was also recorded by Thee Midniters. "If I Do" is a "garage sound" classic which makes this record highly sought after.
For their fifth single, The Ambertones stayed with the Rayjack label and recorded "I Can Only Give You Everything" (another garage classic) and a remake of "I Only Have Eyes For You" (Rayjack 1002) in 1966. The record was picked and released on Treasure Chest (Treasure Chest 001) in the same year but I do not have a scan of this record.
The Ambertones also recorded "Cuartavara" and a surf instrumental "Hang Ten" but I have no information on these songs.
FOR MORE ON THE AMBERTONES PLEASE CHECK OUT CHAS KITT'S POST ON THE GARAGE HANGOVER SITE FOUND HERE:
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Soley for historical and educational purposes and for listening pleasure.