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Thursday, May 21, 2015



01. Lonely Lonely Nights
02. In Exchange For Your Love
03. Symbol Of Heaven
04. Here In My Arms
05. I Remember Linda
06. True Fine Mama
07. Your Careless Love
08. You Will Cry
09. I Want To Be With You
10. Lonely Lonely Nights (with the Illusions)
11. Lonely Lonely Nights (version 2) (with the Illusions)
12. KRCW's "Little Julian's Secret

Five 45 RPM records comprise the complete works of Little Julian Herrera. Since he is my favorite Eastside singer, I highly recommend this compact disc.

For more information on Little Julian and his music please see my post under EASTSIDE LEGENDS.

Besides the music this from this incredibly talented vocalist, the highlight of this disc is "Little Julian's Secret", a KCRW radio documentary exploring the mysterious life and legend of Little Julian. The documentary is truly fascinating and well worth the price of admission. You may listen to "Unfictional - Little Julian's Secret"
by doing a Google search which KCRW has archived.

Little Julian Herrera was born Ronald Wayne Gregory in Massachusetts to Hungarian Jewish parents and ran away from home ending up in Boyle heights, California. There a Mexican-American family took him in and he used the family's name, Herrera. The name Little Julian came from Don Julian of the meadowlarks who had a hit with "Heaven & Paradise" at the time.

Little Julian met Johnny Otis who asked him to perform in his shows at El Monte Legion Stadium where he became a star attraction. In the summer of 1956 Little Julian would record for Otis' newlt formed Dig label. The session would produce "Lonely, Lonely Nights" and "In Exchange For Your Love" The group backing Little Julian is probably The Premiers who were also on the Dig label. The record would be a big hit locally but would do little elsewhere. In 1957 a follow-up record "Symbol Of Heaven" and "Here In My Arms" was released.

In late 1957 Julian signed with record producer Art Laboe who introduced him to The Tigers, a vocal group from Pomona. They recorded for the Starla label "I Remember Linda" and "True Fine Mama"

The A side was a minor hit in L.A. because Art Laboe plugged it on his radio show. The group appeared as Little Julian herrera & The Tigers in a San Diego theater show but at the end of the show the police came and arrested Julian accusing him of statutory rape. two others were also accused but for some reason the charges against them were dropped leaving only Julian charged. This killed record sales and after a stint in jail he would disappear later to be found at a car wash on National City Blvd and picking string beans on the Otay Mesa.

He once again disappeared and was rediscovered by "Huggy Boy", Dick Hugg in 1963 playing in a nightclub in Tijuana. Huggy Boy got  him back into the studio and released one single on his Essar label with an update version of "Lonely Lonely Nights" and "I Want To Be With You" Of major interest to record collectors, there are two markedly different takes of 'Lonely Lonely Nights"issued on the essar label with identical release numbers for which there is no know explanation. In these recordings Julian was backed by the band from Bellflower-Long Beach area, The Illusions.

After another recording for Emmo Records "Your Careless Love" and "You Will Cry", Julian disappeared into obscurity never to be seen again