Chicano culture, art, and politics
Cannibal and The Headhunters
Cannibal and The Headhunters
The Musical British Invasion
wasn't the only significant
Pop event in 1964

By Hector & Miroslava Gonzalez

2004 is the 40th musical anniversary of The West Coast Eastside Sound. In 1964 three young musical groups from East Los Angeles, CA took the Eastside Sound to international prominence and charted on the National Top 40 Billboard Music Charts with their recordings on Rampart and Faro Records.

"La, La, La, La, La" by The Blendells from Lincoln Heights, CA. "Farmer John" by The Premiers from San Gabriel, CA., and "Land of 1000 Dances, Naa, Na, Na, Na, Naa" by Cannibal and The Headhunters from the Ramona Gardens Housing Projects in Boyle Heights, CA.

Most of these young musicians were still attending Lincoln High School when they found themselves on television and touring with the very musical artist that they admired, such as Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones, The Righteous Brothers and The Beatles to name a few! To commemorate this musical anniversary Barrio Gold Records in Tokyo, Japan and Rampart Records in East L.A. have released a CD compilation, Eastside Soul Classics 1963-1977
Chicano Rare Grooves.

This historical musical collection, produced by Shin Miyata and Hector A. Gonzalez, features twenty-one rare and classic songs remastered at JVC Tokyo from the original analog tapes. This CD also features a biographical booklet with a Chicano Graffiti interview with producer Hector A. Gonzalez and a short biography on legendary Eddie Davis who originally produced all of the tracks on this release.

It also includes various other producers including Billy Cardenas who managed The Blendells, The Premiers and The Romancers. The text is in Japanese. However, the song titles also appear in English with lots of historical detail in the song credits.

The Mixtures
The Mixtures
The Premiers

This collection opens with the popular instrumental, "Hector" by The Village Callers recorded "live" for Rampart Records in 1968 at The Plush Bunny nightclub in Pico Rivera, CA. Various rap and hip hop artist including, POE, The Beasties Boys and Cypress Hill have sampled this song. The CD also features an obscure East L.A. Doo Wop classic, "Please Baby Please" by Cannibal and The Headhunters, which was written by Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia and was their last official recording for Rampart Records in 1966.

Also included in this collection are three previously unreleased songs recorded in 1969 by Willie G shortly after he left The Midniters to pursue a solo career. Willie G and God's Children performed "That's the Way God Planned It" and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" with a thirty-piece orchestra conducted by Arthur Freeman.

The third song, "Hey Does Somebody Care", was the theme from the TV series Matt Lincoln which also features Little Ray Jimenez singing a duet with Lil' Willie G, a true collector's item! Other artists included on the collection are: Two Tons of Love's (aka Dos Chicanos Mas), "It's a Bad Situation in a Beautiful Place", and "What Good am I Without You", featuring an incredible husband and wife vocal duet.

The Romancers from Lincoln Heights and their first hit, "My Heart Cries", The Mixtures and their groove instrumentals "Poochum" and "Chinese Checkers" with their signature Wurlitzer electric piano sound. The Soul Jers and their East L.A. R&B classic, "Gonna Be a Big Man", One G Plus Three with "Summertime".

Tocayo with "Con Safos" which shows the musical influence that the "El Chicano" Hammond B3 organ sound had on a lot of the instrumental East L.A. groups of the 70's. Also included are East L.A. disco legends, Eastside Connection with their classic Billboard Top 40 disco hits, "You're So Right For Me" and "Over Please", as well as another classic recording by The Village Callers, "The Frog" featuring Angela Bell on lead vocals, as well as more classic recordings by Willie G and The Six Pak such as "Lonely Lullaby" and "Brown Baby".

The Majestics with "Girl of My Dreams" feature the Robles Brothers, Arthur, David and Ruben with The Romancers as the backup band. They also perform, "I Love Her So Much it Hurts Me", featuring The Ralph Ventura Mariachi which adds an interesting flavor to the musical arrangement. Adu, a Japanese muralist from Tokyo who specializes in Chicano EAST L.A. mural art, designed the album cover art. Unfortunately, this album is not available in the United States except as a Japanese import in certain record stores. You may purchase a copy by contacting Shin Miyata at web www.m-camp.net

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