In 1964, the school's band director, W.A, Taggert began producing concerts at East Los Angeles City College. The auditorium held approximately 2500 seats.
The Salesian High School Rock & Roll Show albums are little known outside of collectors of Los Angeles R&B music and lovers of the Eastside Sound.
Five albums were recorded and released on the Century Custom Recording Service label in 1964 and 1965. The albums were initially sold at the school book store for $3.25 and if you can find them now sell for hundreds of dollars.
Considering that the price of a Beatles concert ticket was $5.00 at the time, the $1.25 ticket price for the first show was certainly a bargain. The Beatles played for 30 minutes and the Salesian shows ran from 3 to 3 1/2 hours. For later shows admission price was $2.00.
Volume 1 (Century Custom 19070) Recorded April 19. 1964
Bobbie & The Esquires - You'll Lose A Good Thing
John Gamboa Sextet - Down At The Chicken Shack
John Gamboa Sextet - Moody's Mood For Love
Sal Padilla & The Leggeriors - Night Train
Thee Midniters - Chinese Checkers
Thee Midniters - For Your Love
The Vesuvians - The Fugitive
The Vesuvians - Hand Clapping
Blue Satins - Summertime
Blue Satins - Love Lights
Blue Satins - My First Love
The Salesian Mustand Swing Band - Theme For Rock & Roll
Director: Gilbert Pineda
It is said that these were the first recordings of Thee Midniters; a cover version of Booker T & The MG's "Chinese Checkers" and a cover of Ed Townsend's "For Your Love"
Sal Padilla & The Leggeriors recorded one single for the Goliath label "Flame Of Love" and "Justine" in1963.
The Blue Satins recorded one single for the Scarlet label "You Don't Know Me" and "My Wife Can't Cook" in 1963.
VOLUME 2 (Century Custom 21995) Recorded October 18, 1964
Art & The Nite Liters - Tuff Talk
The Velvetones - Tenderly
Ronnie & The Casuals - 20.75
The Rhythm Playboys - This Is My Prayer
The Rhythm Playboys - One Degree North
Thee Midniters with Lil'l Willie G, vocalist - And I Love Her
Thee Midniters with Li'l Willie G, vocalist - So Far Away
Thee Midniters with Li'l Willie G, vocalist - I Need Someone
Thee Midniters with Li'l Willie G, vocalist - Darling Forever
Thee Midniters with Li'l Willie G vocalist - Sad Girl
The Blue Satins - Help Yourself
The Blue Satins - Oh-Pu-Pi-Do (featuring The Sisters Trio)
The Blue Satins - The Bounce
Notes by George L. Pineda
Volume 2 is the most common volume (easiest to find) probably because more copies were sold due to the appearance and popularity of Thee Midniters featuring Li'l Willie G on vocals.At this show Thee Midniters also performed "Land Of A Thousand Dances" (not included on this album) Thee Midniters were supposed to back Cannibal & The Headhunters who were know locally for their version of the Chris Kenner penned tune. Cannibal & The Headhunters were stuck in Fresno with bad weather so Thee Midniters had the starring spot and performed their own version. This prompted W.A. Taggert to take Thee Midniters recording to Ruth Contes of Chattahoochee Record in Hollywood. The single "Land Of A Thousand Dances" (parts 1&2) would be released in November, 1964 on Chattahoochee 666.
The album also includes a track by Ronnie & The Casuals who would go on to be called Ronnie & The Pomona Casuals (see my post under EASTSIDE BANDS) and The Blue Satins "Oh-Pu-Pi-Do" featuring The Sisters Trio. The Sisters would record the track as "Ooh Poo Pa Doo" for Del-Fi backed by Ronnie & The Casuals.
VOLUME 3 (Century Custom 20069) Recorded May 16,1965
The Goofy Six Plus One - I Need Someone
The Relations - I Do Love You
Mickey Aversa & The Invaders - Sad Girl
Mickey Aversa & The Invaders - Darling Forever
The Etalons - Out Of Sight
The Little Heartbreakers - Cradle Rock
The Enchanters - Try Me
The Parlay Brothers - Uncle Sam's Man
The Emeralds - Wooly Bully
The Precisions - I Been Trying
The Counts - Girl Of My Dreams
Clarence Playa - I Wake Up Crying
The Velvetones - Gloria
The Progressions - Twine Time
Li'l Ray - Ooh Baby Baby
The Ambertones - Ebb Tide
Producer: W.A. Taggart
Director: Gilbert Pineda
Photographer: R. Ruiz
My favorite Salesian High Rock & Roll album for a couple of reasons. One, my cousin Mickey Aversa & his band, The Invaders performed at this show & are on this album. Two, several other acts on this album went on to have recording careers including Little Ray Jimenez & The Progressions (including Clarence Playa), The Heartbreakers, The Parlay Brothers, The Counts and The Ambertones. You can find more information on these bands by checking out my posts under EASTSIDE LEGENDS and EASTSIDE BANDS.
VOLUME 4 (Century Custom) Recorded October 10, 1965
The Vandells - Get Down With It
The Entertainers - Double OO Soul
The Fabulons - I'll Go Crazy
The Four J's - My Girl Sloopy
The Executives - High Heel Sneakers
The Relations - Heat Wave
The Impalas - Treat Her Right
The V.I.P's - David's Mood
Frankie Valens - Gee Whiz
The Emeralds - So Far Away
The Enchantments - Try Me
The Etalons - Ask Me Why
The Noblemen - To Be Loved
The Ambertones - I Need Someone
The Ambertones - My Prayer
The Four By Fours - Roll Over Beethoven
The scans and track list were provided to me by fellow collector Gene Aguilera along with a compact disc of the recording. I can not thank Mr Aguilera enough for his help in my inclusion of this volume on this post.
The Ambertones return on Volume 4. The Noblemen recorded "Soul Shuffle" for the Kay Gee record label in 1964. The Impalas are covered under EASTSIDE BANDS. Also of note are the V.I.P's who would go on to become El Chicano.
There is a fifth volume in this series but it has only a couple of bands and the rest of the album is by the Salesian High School band.
Vinyl copies of volumes 4 and 5 are currently on my want list.
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED!! SOLEY FOR HISTORICAL & EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES.