Ok…taking it back some 17 years or so, I was asked to share a little music history that I was privileged to be a part of The Latin Music Festival 2004. It was late summer and the city of San Bernardino, California seemed to come alive with color, people, music & good times for the Route 66 Annual Car & Hot Rod event and the concert that followed.
I was honored to be the MC & Host to a great show, that featured 5 top music acts, including The Village Callers and comedian Gilbert Esquivel.
The Village Callers seamlessly glided into a classic opening tune that belied the years since their last performance, which was well received by the crowd, and filled the outdoor dance floor! Geree was the female vocalist and the band included Ernie Hernandez Jr., John Gonzales, Joe Espinosa, Adolfo “Fuzzy” Martinez, Chuck Masten, and Manny Fernandez.
The anticipation in the crowd was thick, as fans gave a hearty welcoming applause you can hear in the recording, as 35 years was just a number in time…when the Village Callers came into their signature song “Hector”, you could hear a palpable “awwww, yea!” from the crowd. Interestingly enough, their former manager and inspiration for the song, Mr. Hector Rivera was in the crowd, beaming a nostalgic ear to ear grin. It was Mr. Rivera who reportedly took the band from the backyard party circuit to club/concert circuit, culminating in their 1969 classic “Village Callers live at the Plush Bunny” album.
These recordings were mixed live by Hector Gonzalez, using a British 40 input Allen Heath mixing console. Check out this great 3 song set by a classic group that will never hear again! The playlist is “Mississippi Delta”, “Evil Ways”, and “Hector”. The song “Hector” was co-written by John Gonzales and Joe Espinosa. ~ Frankie Firme