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Saturday, June 30, 2012

EASTSIDE BANDS - MICKEY & THE INVADERS/DYNA-MIGHT


                                   MICKEY & THE INVADERS

Band Members:

Mike James Aversa (Mickey) (guitar)
John Ortiz (sax)
Bobby Espinosa (keyboards)
Denny Robinson (guitar)
Linda Robinson (vocals)
Simon Casas (guitar)

Not Pictured:

Barry Ward (drummer)
Danny Lamont (drummer)



Originally called Mickey & The Cavaliers & hailing from  the Montebello/East Los Angeles area, Mickey & The Invaders were led by my cousin and guitarist/song writer Mickey Aversa. Mickey & The Invaders were another great Eastside band and Mickey's musical career spans over 50 years. A little known fact is that keyboardist, Bobby Espinosa started in this band and would later go on to play with El Chicano.







MICKEY AVERSA & HIS CAVALIERS:

Photos taken at KCOP-TV Studios "Hispanorama" television show

Don Verna (Drums)
Edward Matisoff (Sax)
Dale Irwin (Bass)
Nancy Maldonado (Singer)
Pat Richardson (Singer)
Mickey Aversa (Vocals & Guitar)
The band was very versatile playing surf, pop, rock, jazz and Latin music. The band was one of the busiest of the Eastside scenes playing almost every local venue including the Big Union Hall and East Los Angeles College.

In 1965 the band recorded "Land of Broken Hearts" and "Blast Off" for the Lap label (Lap 108). "Land Of Broken Hearts" (a great teener) was recorded by studio musicians and Mickey singing lead. It was intended to be the A side of the record but disc jockeys flipped it over and started playing the surf instrumental "Blast Off".

The musicians on "Blast Off" (written by Mickey) were Mickey Aversa (lead guitar), Simon Casas (bass), John Ortiz (tenor sax), Barry Ward (drums) and Denny Robinson (guitar).




You May Listen To Mickey & The Invaders "Land Of Broken Hearts" Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7tb5zzulpM





You May Listen To Mickey & The Invaders "Blast Off" Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amsVf5j1P8U&feature=relmfu

Later in 1965, the band would record "Love Is A Wonderful Thing" and "You'll Never Know" and released on the Yardbird label (Yardbird 8007). Both sides were written by Mickey Aversa.





You May Listen To Mickey & The Invaders "Love Is A Wonderful Thing" Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGJ-y2gFZJU



You May Listen To Mickey & The Invaders "You'll Never Know" Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXL5uuTHcHs&feature=channel&list=UL


In 1967, Mickey & The Invaders would win The Battle Of The Bands held at the Teenage Fair at The Hollywood Palladium.






At this time the band members included:

Mickey Aversa (lead singer, lead guitar)
John Ortiz (organ sax)
Barry Ward (drummer)
Simon Casas (bass, guitar, organ)
Mario Sasa (trumpet)
Sonny Lathrop (rhythm guitar)






They became the KRLA Roadshow band with disc jockey, Dick Biondi. Later they changed their name to the Mike James Quintet.


In 1969 Los Angeles disc jockeys Charlie O'Donnell & Humble Harve became the band's record producers and the band's name was changed to Dyna-Might.



DYNA-MIGHT


Dyna-Might was the houseband at Disneyland and became the houseband at Magic Mountain in it's innagural year.

They signed a two-year contact with MCA's Uni Records in 1969.

Their first single was "You Got Me Groovin'" and "Soul Has No Color" release on Januarl 1, 1970 for MCA's Congress label (Congress 6014)



You May Listen To Dyna-Might "You Got Me Groovin" Here:






You May Listen To Dyna-Might "Soul Has No Color" Here:




Their second single was "Borracho" and "Need You" released September 1, 1970 on MCA's Uni label (Uni 55256). The voice you hear saying "Borracho" is disc jockey Humble Harv (Harvey Miller).




You May Listen To Dyna-Might "Borracho" Here:





Dyna-Might's third & final single was "Sunshine Goddess" and "Message To By Brother", produced as a joint project for Uni records and Warner Brothers Records. The record was released July 1, 1971 on the Uni label (Uni 55292).







In 1973 Dyna-Might produced and recorded "Fallin' In Love" and "A Rose By Another Name". "Fallin In Love" was written by an unknown group at the time, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds. Dyna-Might's version was to be released on Playboy Records but the label opted to go with the writers. The record became a smash hit for Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds in 1975. Dyna-Might's tunes were pressed on the Dyna-Might Records label (Dyna-Might 101)




You May Listen To Dyna-Might "Fallin' In Love Again" Here:





The original group Dyna-Might disbanded in 1977 with Mike (Mickey) Aversa & John Ortiz joining Mike O'Brien & Don Hoover to form the Christian band, The Agape Brothers.



Original Mickey & The Invaders members Barry Ward passed away in June 2005 and  Bobby Espinosa passed away in February 2010. They are both missed.







Mike James Aversa (Mickey) currently lives in Orange Country, California.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MICKEY & THE INVADERS/DYNA-MIGHT PLEASE VISIT MIKE JAMES AVERSA'S SITE "AVERSA MUSIC" FOUND HERE:


A FASCINATING & INFORMATIVE ARTICLE ON THE BAND IS POSTED ON MARK GUERRERO'S WEBSITE FOUND HERE:

http://www.markguerrero.com/37.php


ALSO PLEASE VISIT SIMON CASAS' SITE FOUND HERE:



NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!!!

Soley for historical & educational purposes and for listening pleasure

Friday, June 29, 2012

EASTSIDE BANDS - THEE COUNTS


                              
                                     THEE COUNTS
                   
(Left to right- Johnny Joe Ramos, bass; Bobby Gurrola, guitar; Bobby Rodriguez, trumpet; Don Viray, guitar; Charlie Montijo, lead singer; Albert Barron, sax;
Ronnie Wheat, drums; Arnold Serafin, keyboards; and Joe Vasquez, sax)


A big thank you goes out to Don Viray, guitarist of the Eastside band, Thee Counts for sending me this picture. I had featured Thee Counts 1965 recording of "Someday I'm Gonna Get You" (see Eastside Oldies Part 3).
The record was first released on the Highland label with "So Far Away" (an instrumental recorded by Hank Jacobs in 1963) as the B Side (Highland 1171) in 1965.

You May Listen To Thee Counts "Someday I'm Gonna Get You" Here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH93j3kN7Uo



The tunes were later released on the Dyamo label (Dynamo 50) in 1966.








The record on either label is rare & highly sought after by Northern Soul collectors.





Don confirmed that the band members are from the East Los Angeles area and that the song, Someday I'm Gonna Get You" won best new record of 1965 on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

Thee Counts played at The Hop in La Puente, California from the 1999-2003. The group still performs today. Many thanks to Don Viray for his e-mails.




left to right-
(front row- Larry Torres, bass; Richard Mitsunaga, lead guitar; Bobby Garola, guitar)
(back row- Ralph "Harpo" Viramontes, vocalist; Ronnie Wheat, drummer
Art Duardo, sax; Tommy Cavanaugh, trombone; and Charlie Montijo, lead singer)


                       SALESIAN ROCK & ROLL SHOW 1965:



NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!!!

Soley for historical & educational purposes & for listening pleasure.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

EASTSIDE BANDS - MARK & THE ESCORTS


                                        MARK & THE ESCORTS

Band Members:

Mark Guerrero (lead guitar)
Robert Warren (rhythm guitar)
Richard Rosas (bass)
Ernie Hernandez (drums)
Joe Cabral (Farfisa organ)
Trini Basulto (tenor sax)
Richard Magana (baritone sax)

Other Members:

Ricky Almaraz (lead vocals) joined in 1964
Richard Morin (vocals, guitar) joined in 1965
Richard Mojarro (vocals, guitar & harmonica) joined in 1966




Before getting into the Eastside band, Mark & The Escorts I want to direct you to Mark Guerrero's website which I strongly recommend you visit. His site is absolutely the best in documenting the history and the artists of the Eastside Sound and has been a major influence on me and my blog.
  Mark's extraordinary career and accomplishments as a singer, songwriter and performer are well documented. The site includes discographies, videos and vintage photos, flyers and business cards of Eastside artists. Of special intererst are his Chicano Music Articles and Chicano Music Chronicles (radio interviews and music with some of the stars of the Eastside Sound).

PLEASE VISIT MARK GUERRERO'S SITE HERE:

http://www.markguerrero.com/


Mark Guerrero is the son of the late Eastside legend, Lalo Guerrero (see my post under EASTSIDE LEGENDS).
Mark graduated from James A. Garfield High School, East Los Angeles College and Cal State Los Angeles where he earned a B.A. in Chicano Studies.

The band, Mark & The Escorts was formed in 1963 and started playing surf instrumentals. The members were all in their early teens. The band honed their skills playing at parties, weddings and dances. Their music was influenced by the music of the times: rock & roll, rhythm & blues and the British Invasion. Their popularity grew and they played at Kennedy Hall & the Montebello Ballroom (two of my favorite venues).

The band came to the attention of manager & producer Billy Cardenas who booked them at lager venues and got them a gig at the Shrine Auditorium's "West Coast East Side Sound Show" in February, 1965.


In June, 1965 Billy took the band to Stereo Masters in Hollywood where they recorded two instrumentals, "Get Your Baby" and "Tuff Stuff". "Get Your Baby" was written by two members of The Mixtures, Randy Thomas and Wayne Edwards (see my post EASTSIDE BANDS). The tune was also recorded by two other Eastside bands I have featured, The Blendells and The Premiers. Mark Guerrero received writer credits for "Tuff Stuff" The record was released on the GNP Crescendo label (GNP Crescendo 350) in 1965.











In October, 1965, Mark & The Escorts recorded "Dance With Me" and "Silly Putty" released on the GNP Crescendo label (GNP Crescendo 358) in 1965. "Dance With Me" is a vocal track with an unknown singer Billy Cardenas brought into the studio. It was written by Ricky Sanchez and Benjamin "Spider" Velasquez of The Fabulous Desires (see my post EASTSIDE OLDIES PART 3). The tune was also recorded by The Blendells. "Silly Putty" is an instrumental track.










A French E.P. featuring all four of Mark & The Escorts' songs was released by Vogue Records.







In 1966, Mark & The Escorts would evolve into The Men From S.O.U.N.D.and then become Nineteen Eighty Four in 1969. In the Early 1970's they became The Mudd Brothers and later changed their name to Tango.

Mark continues to perform locally and is keeping the music alive.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MARK GUERRERO AND ALL OF THE BANDS HE PERFORMED WITH PLEASE VISIT HIS SITE FOUND HERE:


http://www.markguerrero.com/



NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!!!

Solely for historical and educational purposes.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BEHIND THE RECORD - LITTLE RAY "I WHO HAVE NOTHING"/"I BEEN TRYING"



Little Ray Jimenez was one of the brightest stars and had one of the best voices of the Eastside Sound. By 1965 he had already recorded several records and was a major act on the Eastside scene. (see my post under EASTSIDE LEGENDS).

In 1965 Ray put together a group called 'The Progressions"

The group included:

Tony Garcia (sax)
Joe Osula (baritone sax)
Bones (trumpet, French horn)
Clarence Playa (guitar, vocals)
Tony Escalante (guitar)
John Pride (keyboeards)
Mike "Bozo" Rodriguez (bass)
Marshall Tavares (bass)

Bob Keene started Del-Fi records in 1958 in Hollywood, California. In 1959, Keene started a sister label, Donna named after the Ritchie Valens smash hit "Donna"

In 1965 Little Ray signed with Keene's Donna label to record a remake of the Ben E. King classic "I Who Have Nothing" which was based on an Italian song "Uno Dei Tanti" and given English lyrics by Leiber & Stoller and the Arthur Lee (of Love fame) penned tune "I Been Trying". The tracks were recorded at Stereo Masters in Hollywood, California with recording engineer Bruce Morgan.

"I Who Have Nothing" was recorded at a midnight session after a show at Wilson High School and since the bass player couldn't make the session, my cousin Mickey Aversa (of Mickey & The Invaders) was called in.

Bob Keene released "I Who Have Nothing" and "I Been Trying" on his Donna label in 1965 (Donna 1404).

















According to the Little Ray discographies I have read and according to music collectors of this genre "I Who Have Nothing" was picked up for distibution by Atco Records (a divison of Atlantic Records) in 1965.

But this may not have been Bob Keene's first intention.

In late 1964 Bob Keene thought his Del-Fi and Donna labels were becoming stagnant and started Mustang Records, a divison of Stereo-Fi Corporation.

Thanks to record collector, David Christopher of Warrensburg, Missouri a promotional copy of "I Who Have Nothing" has surfaced on the Mustang label.

Keene probably intended to reissue the song on his new Mustang label but instead gave it to Atco for better financial gain and greater distribution.

The promo copies were pressed on the Mustang label (Mustang 3005). Keene instead used Mustang 3005 for another group he had recording for him on the Donna label, Ronnie & The Pomona Casuals. In May of 1965 Keene released "Please, Please, Please" and "We're Gonna Do The Freddie" (Mustang 3005)



Again, thanks to David Christopher here is the promo copy of what Bob Keene intended to release on his Mustang label, Little Ray "I Who Have Nothing" and "I Been Trying" (Mustang 3005).









David was kind enough to sell me this record which is now a cherished piece in my collection.


Atco did pick up the record for distribution and released it in 1965 (Atco 6355)














NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!!!!

Soley for historical & educational purposes.

Monday, June 11, 2012

REMEMBERING EAST L.A. - ADVANCED TELEVISION



My father, Emil Aversa owned Advanced Television in East Los Angeles in 1950's to the 1970's The store moved to different locations all on Whittier Boulevard including 51 18 Whittier Blvd and 5849 Whittier Blvd and also next to The Tamale on Whittier Blvd.

My father served in the navy during World War II and repaired navy communications equipment including walky talkies. He opened up shop in East L.A. selling & repeairing televisions and radios for the East L.A. community. Of course televisions back then were very different than they are today with all the tubes and such and I marveled at what my dad could do with a set that just quit working. I still remember the first tiny transistor radio he gave me and I took it everywhere  I went. My dad also sold records in his store from time to time to supplement his income.

Emil was a ham radio operator and one of the pioneers during the CB radio days.

I spent some time with my dad this past weekend & he allowed me to scan these old pictures.

Happy Father's Day and  hats off to you, dad for serving East L.A. back in the day.











My cousin Mickey and his band Mickey & The Invaders played at my dad's Advanced Television Grand Opening in 1965