Frankie Firme Presents
16 Rare & Golden Treasures
From the Vaults of Rampart Records
Throughout the West Coast Eastside Sound collection from the vaults of Rampart Record, there are sometimes two (2) versions of each band, an Afro-American band (#1) and a Chicano band (#2). The Black Atlantics recorded Boo, Hoo, Hoo in 1961. Sloop Dance and Beaver Shot were recorded in 1965 by the Chicano Atlantics who were a band from El Monte and managed by Billy Cardenas.
"Boo, Hoo, Hoo" The Atlantics (# 1)
This is East Los Angeles doo-wop at its finest. Record company owner, Eddie Davis was always searching for songs that he could produce. He would then hire studio session musicians to record them. Gaynel Hodge wrote and played piano on this "Cry Baby" stroll and recorded it during the summer of 1961 at Capitol Records Studio B with Phil Tucker and Delbert Franklin sharing the lead vocals (Phil and Del) and he also wrote and played piano on the "B" side of this recording, "Everything's Gonna Be Alright". An R&B pioneer, Gaynel who also sang with The Hollywood Flames, wrote the Los Angeles doo-wop classics, "I'm A Fool" for The Turks (he also sang lead vocals) and The Penguins' "Earth Angel" (Will You Be Mine). Eddie Davis who loved to bring various artists and musicians together for recordings also used members of the vocal group, The Rivingtons ("Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow") and a young Barry White along with the all Black female vocal group who would later become, The Sa-Shays to fill in on the background vocals. The Sa-Shays would later record and release their own version of this song with The Royal Impalas on Zen Records in 1961. Eddie Davis and drummer, Bobby Gross (who played with The Olympics) produced this track and Gaynel Hodge with Barry White did the musical and vocal arrangements.
"Don't Play With Love" Phil and Del
The first 45 rpm vinyl single recording released on Eddie Davis's Rampart Records in 1960-61 and written by sax player Delbert Franklin was, "Darling, Please Bring Your Love" by Phil and Harv who were the lead vocalist with The Mixtures from Oxnard, California. When Harv Willis was unexpectedly incarcerated, Delbert stepped up-front with Phil Tucker on vocals and it is Phil and Del at their very best that are heard singing on this recording. The collaboration between Phil and Del would continue into the late 60's with the group, The Soul-Jers who recorded for Rampart Records. This song was also produced and recorded during the Capitol Records Studio B sessions in 1961.
"Dearest" Larry Tamblyn
A talented writer, guitarist and singer, Larry Tamblyn was also the brother of actor Russell Tamblyn (Riff in "West Side Story" 1961). The song "Dearest" was the flip side of "Patty Ann" and was a doo-wop effort for record producer, Eddie Davis and his Faro Record label in 1960 prior to Larry starting his own band, The Standells in 1962. Larry worked with Davis on and off until The Standells hit big with the song, "Dirty Water" in 1966 on Tower Records (a subsidiary of Capitol Records). Even afterwards, Tamblyn was loyal to Eddie and did several efforts for him including producing The East Side Kids from New York and their song, "Listen to the Wise Man" for Davis's Valhalla Record label.
"I Wish I Didn't Love You So" Bob Nolen
Singer, Bob Nolen was a friend of restaurateur and record producer Eddie Davis from their childhood days with the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir. When Davis opened his first Night Club in the late 50's on Ivar & Cahuenga next to the Continental Trailways bus station in Hollywood California, Bob would often appear on the bill along with singer, Darla Hood (The Little Rascals) and pianist and vocalist, Vince Morton. This romantic musical arrangement and recording features Bob's incredibly rich and beautiful voice that made him a favorite in the Supper Club circuit as well as appearing on several local Los Angeles television shows in the late 50's. The Eddie Davis Night Club and the Continental Trailways bus station in Hollywood would later become, The Continental Crush Bar and more recently, Goldfingers.
"Do Yourself A Favor" The Rhythm Rockets
From Downey California, this young vocal trio (2 girls and a guy) and their original composition written by members Georgia Massey and Dopha Stark was enough to entice record producer, Eddie Davis to take them to Audio Arts Recording Studio in Hollywood, California and release this recording on his Faro Record label in 1959. Eddie also brought in his staff co-producer, Wayne Franklin Corps to assist him with the musical and vocal arrangements. After the release of the record, the group received some local radio airplay and continued to achieve regional success. The Rhythm Rockets also appeared at many high schools and colleges as well as private events in the Southern California area promoting their record for Faro Production and Associated Talent Enterprises.
"She Is My Baby" The Heartbreakers
This song by The Heartbreakers was the flip side of, "Please Answer" released on Eddie Davis's Linda Records in 1964. The group was centered on the duet vocal harmonizing stylings of brothers Benny and Joe Rodriquez from Roosevelt High School in the Boyle Heights section of East Los Angeles, California. Their earlier big hit, produced by Billy Cardenas was, "Cradle Rock" (a Chicano doo-wop tune of the children's lullaby, "Rock-a-Bye, Baby") that was recorded and released on Bob Keane's Donna Records. "She Is My Baby" is a Grinder Veterano oldie arranged by Randy Thomas ("Get Your Baby") and produced by Eddie Davis and Billy Cardenas. Their voices weren't raw enough to be Don & Dewey, but they created a sweet emotional sound with a groove perfect for the "Homeboy" stroll.
"One Like Mine" The Salas Brothers with The Jaguars
These talented brothers from Lincoln Heights, California are Rudy and Steve Salas, also known for their hits with the powerhouse 80's Latin Funk band, Tierra. The Salas Brothers were the featured singers with The Jaguars and had a delightful harmony. This was the first of the Eastside musical groups that Billy Cardenas brought to record producer, Eddie Davis's Faro Records. Rudy and Steve were just kids when they started singing with The Jaguars and they recorded a version of the Phil and Harv hit, "Darling, Please Bring Your Love" in 1964. "One Like Mine" was written by Mario Paniagua ("Where Lovers Go") and released in 1966 to a favorable response. With a light Latin flavor, Rudy Salas sings lead vocals on this rare & classic recording.
"I Did The Wrong Thing" The Romancers
Although The Romancers from Lincoln Heights, California never had a national top 40 hit with record producer, Eddie Davis, they were the most creative of the Eastside bands and their sound helped to set the mold for the "West Coast Eastside Sound". Discovered by Billy Cardenas, it was the group's rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist, Max Uballez that captured the eye of the fans and the public. Cardenas was convinced that Max was the next Richie Valens. The band recorded a stack of originals mostly written by Uballez for Davis's Linda Record label starting in 1964. However, their biggest hit was a remake of the Etta James - Harvey Fugua R&B ballad, "My Heart Cries". The song, "I Did The Wrong Thing" in particular shows how these young Chicano musicians did not live in a vacuum and were evolving with current developments in American pop music.
"Home On The Range" The Atlantics (# 1) featuring Barry White
Co-produced by Eddie Davis and session drummer Bobby Gross with Gaynel Hodge on piano at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood California, this song features an 18-year-old Barry White on lead vocals with members of the Los Angeles doo-wop group, The Rivingtons and the Sa-Shays on background vocals. Barry was born in Texas but raised in Los Angeles; White was immersed in the L.A. music scene and at the early age of 11 played piano on Jesse Belvins' hit, "Goodnight My Love". In the early 60's, Barry White made several recordings under the pseudonym "Barry Lee" and sang with The Upfronts, The Majestics (#1) and The Atlantics (#1). This recording was released on Rampart Records in 1963 and the influence of Marvin Gaye on the Southern California Soul Music Scene is obvious.
"Come And Swim With Me" Little Ray
The most seasoned of the West Coast Eastside singers was Ray Jimenez who was only 8 years old when he began performing as Little Elvis and later with The Rhythm Kings in Delano, California. When he was 12 years old, Ray shared the bill with Jackie Wilson at The Paramount Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. His influences were Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson and Johnny Mathis. In 1965, Ray hit big with his version of the Ben E. King Song, "I Who Have Nothing" that was distributed nationally by Atco. When Motown opened its first West Coast office in the 70's, Hal Davis signed him to the label but he never recorded for them. He maintained his Eastside stature in later years with his band, Little Ray and the Progressions featuring The Rayettes and Clarence Playa. Ray is still active today with his band, Little Ray and Star Fire and proudly owns his Sanctuary Recording Studios in East Los Angeles, California.
"Come Swim With Me", is the answer record to Bobby Freeman's "C'mon and Swim" with a Stevie Wonder-twist and he recorded this song for Eddie Davis's Faro Records in 1964 when Little Ray was just 15 years old.
"Get Out Of My Life Woman" Thee Royal Checkmates
This legendary Eastside Band featured child prodigy drummer, Aaron Ballesteros who was also the leader of the group at the age of 14 and is considered by many Eastside Music Historians to be one of the finest drummers to ever come out of the East Los Angeles area. It was Aaron's father, Ray Ballesteros who also managed Thee Royal Checkmates from East Los Angeles, California and this all male, 9-member band with a great horn section, arrangements and vocals had a big following of fans whenever they performed. Many artists have recorded this cover song written by Alan Tousaint over the years including The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The band recorded this version at Stereo Masters Recording Studio on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, California across from the Desilu Studios with legendary recording engineer, Bruce Morgan at the controls. Eddie Davis released the recording on Faro Records in 1967 and co-produced with Max Uballez. Aaron Ballesteros is still an active drummer and currently plays with Thee Midniters, Los Lobos and Tierra to name a few.
"It's a Bad Situation In A Beautiful Place" Two Tons Of Love (Dos Chicanos Mas)
This vocal duet was made up of Bobby Reyes and Lydia Lopez. Before they even met and started singing together, Lydia at age 16 was singing at a coffee Shop in Victorville, California and Bobby at age 14 was invited to sing and entertain at a frosh dance at Cathedral High School. They started singing together in 1967 at a beer bar called, The Club Royal in the El Sereno section of East Los Angeles where Bobby was a part time bartender. Lydia would stop by and they both would sing together to the music from the bar's jukebox. It was only intended as a fun thing but the customers loved it so much that within a short period of time, the bar was doing over-capacity business and the reputation of the, "Two Tons Of Love" started to spread throughout the East L.A. area. In January 1970, they were invited to make their professional debut as one of the featured acts at the, "Rock & Soul" concert at East Los Angeles College Auditorium. "It's a Bad Situation In A Beautiful Place" was recorded and released on Gordo Records and produced by Eddie Davis at I.D. Studios in Hollywood, California. In 1970, the "New" Gordo Record label slogan would read, "CHICANOS ARE HAPPENING".
"It's Gonna Work Out Fine" The Mixtures (Instrumental)
This instrumental cover version of the Ike and Tina Turner classic was recorded at Electrovox Studios in Hollywood, California in 1962 and released on Linda Records. Saxman and singer Delbert Franklin (from Oxnard, California) led The Mixtures, a group that was brought to record producer Eddie Davis's attention by Dick Moreland and Bob Eubanks when they were both DJ's at local Oxnard radio station KACY. Del was 19 years old when he first met Eddie Davis who fell in love with the band immediately. Davis loved the idea that they had a Chicano, Black, White, and all the races in one group. The Band was truly the "Rainbow" of the West Coast Eastside Sound and their band name derives from the racial and ethnic collage that made up the group. The Mixtures mainly recorded instrumentals and "It's Gonna Work Out Fine" got some good regional response.
"Takin' Care of Business" Sarah James & The Soul Babies
This song was co-produced by Eddie Davis and Wayne Edwards and written by Chick Carlton and Delbert Franklin for R&B Soul singer, Sarah James. Sarah would often perform solo at the piano bar as well as with her trio at the Eddie Davis Night Club in Hollywood, California to standing room crowds. Her powerful voice and great personality made her a favorite in the Night Club Circuit. This recording also features Barry White playing the congas. As Delbert Franklin recalls, "Barry was always trying to make himself useful in the recording studio". The background singers (Soul Babies) also included members of The Sa-Shays. Released in 1967 on Faro Records, it wasn't long before local AM radio stations like KGFJ were playing the song in steady rotation.
"Corazon De Hotel" Mickey & the Mex-Tex
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, until the age of 17, Mickey Hernandez was one of the first singers and band leader in the 60's to bring the Tejano (Mex-Tex) Sound to Southern California along with bands like Jr. and the Preludes and legendary Tejano band leader & composer, Noe Falcon. Mickey moved to Los Angeles in 1964 and started singing with small local bands and would later form his own group with a friend from El Paso who was also living in L.A. By 1971, Mickey & the Mex-Tex were recording for Eddie Davis and his Gordo Record label with Billy Cardenas co-producing. Mickey soon had a regional hit with the traditional Mexican ranchera, "Corazon de Hotel" which received lots of airplay on Los Angeles Mexican AM radio stations, KWKW and KALI. The band members were a combination of musicians from El Paso and Corpus Christi, Texas as well as Los Angeles, California. Mickey & the Mex-Tex toured the southwest extensively and eventually became one of the favorite featured House Bands at The Dancing Waters Night Club in San Pedro, California.
"Golpe Traidor" Lava and the Hot Rocks (Un-released bonus track)
Special Guest Musicians - Los Rock Angels
This family Latin Funk band included Hector Gonzalez (Dad) Bass Guitar, Lava Gonzalez (Mom) Lead Vocals and their son, Alex Gonzalez on Drums. In 1995, they released their first (1st) CD album on Rampart Records, "You Damn Mexicans Are Too Loud" to rave reviews. In 1998, Telemundo Television Executive, Dan Guerrero (son of Lalo Guerrero) hired the group as the House Band for the new musical variety television show, "Al Dia Con Maria Conchita" staring actress and singer, Maria Conchita Alonzo. This un-released bonus track of the traditional ranchera song, "Golpe Traidor" was originally recorded to show Lava's versatile vocal range who is originally from Chinipas, Chihuahua, Mexico. This recording also included some band members from, "Los Rock Angels" with Lorenzo Martinez on Bajo Sexto, Val Salazar on Accordion and Louie Mendez on Rhythm Guitar.