Artists

The Romancers
This band set the mold for the Eastside Sound. They were from Lincoln High School, and were discovered by Billy Cardenas, who thought the group's rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Max Uballez, was the next Richie Valens. While The Romancers never had a major hit with Eddie Davis, they were the most creative of the bands, with a solid stack of originals. Don't Let Her Go is an uptempo rocker by Uballez with a funky Mersey Beat and the Fender-twang of East L.A.'s first guitar god, Andy Tesso. Tell Her I Love Her (No Other Love) is another Uballez sub pop classic.


Phil and Harv
Lead singers for The Mixtures, this duo came to Eddie's attention through KRLA deejay Dick Moreland, who asked him to check them out. The doo-wop ballad Darling (Please Bring Your Love), was written by Mixtures bandleader Delbert Franklin, a singer and saxman with the versatile sextet. But alas, Phil and Harv would be short-lived and soon it was Phil and Del, after Harv was incarcerated. Listen carefully and you'll hear L.A. girl group, The Blossoms, with Darlene Love, filling out the background vocals.


The Atlantics (#1)
A collaboration with drummer Bobby Gross resulted in "Remember The Night" by The Atlantics, an Afro-American vocal group Davis pulled together that included L.A. Doo-woppers The Rivingtons and an 18 year old Barry White. Remember the Night was an Oldies tribute concept in line with other such medleys as "Memories of El Monte" and "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)."


The Village Callers
If not for this version of Willie Bobo’s Evil Ways, Santana's rendition might never been released. "When I recorded it with The Village Callers, it went Top 10 in San Francisco," Eddie told Propes. "Santana had already recorded their version but Columbia had shelved it. So an A&R man at Columbia named Ed Mathews kept trying to get it released and finally did by showing the Village Callers had charted with it in S.F. But when Columbia released Santana's that was the end of the Village Callers’ version."


The Mixtures
This band was truly the "rainbow" of the “Eastside Sound.” Out of Oxnard but based in Pomona, their name derives from the racial and ethnic collage that made up the group. Led by reedman Delbert Franklin, the group recorded mainly instrumentals and got good regional response, as the groove novelty jam Olive Oyl proves. Written by Eddie Davis, it was a total goof of Popeye and Olive Oyl cooing back and forth.


The Premiers
Co-led by brothers Lawrence (lead guitar) and John Perez (drums/vocals), with Frank Zuniga (electric bass), George Delgado (rhythm guitar/vocals), and Phil Ruiz (sax), The Premiers scored big in '64 with "Farmer John." On Come On And Dream, we hear a collaboration between Larry Tamblyn (of Standells fame) and The Premiers, which bears the sonic stamp of rock and roll's psychedelic era.


Ron Holden
In the late '50s this Portland, Oregon-based singer scored a local hit on Nite Owl Records titled, "I Love You So," that became a big national hit. From the same area as The Kingsmen, Holden is considered to be one of the first to sing Richard Berry's "Louie, Louie" in a way that influenced their version. With his characteristic laid back delivery, Holden did Girl I Love You for Davis in '65 as his career was coming to a close.


Willie G:
The three best singers of the Eastside Sound were Frankie "Little Cannibal" Garcia, Lil Ray Jimenez, and Little Willie G. (Garcia). As the popular lead singer of Thee Midniters, Willie G. was a smooth emotional crooner, barrio star who was greatly influenced by Frank Sinatra. Brown Baby a moving anthem of brown pride was co-produced by Eddie Davis and Mario Paniagua with The Six Pack (pre-Tierra) providing back up.


The Blendells
Huggie's Bunnies is a groove instrumental written by guitarist Andy Tesso, and originally done by The Romancers, in hopes of appealing to Huggy Boy (radio DJ Dick Hugg) for airplay on his popular radio show. As the B-side to The Blendells popular '64 hit "La La La La La," this was a big hit too. Started in 1962 by bassist Mike Rincon, The Blendells hailed from Lincoln Heights, the same neighborhood as The Romancers, and were very talented musicians who were swept up in a whirlwind as a result of the song only to break up a year later.


The Soul-jers:
Crazy Little Things was an upbeat soul stirrer that came out in '66 featuring the duo of Delbert Franklin (The Mixtures) and Phillip Tucker. A play on the word soldier, publicity photos show them dressed in military fatigues and berets with "R" for Rampart Records sewn on. A veteran of WWII, it no doubt played to Eddie Davis' patriotic sympathies as the Vietnam War occupied more space in the headlines.


Larry Tamblyn:
A talented guitarist and singer, This Is The Night was a doo-wop effort by Tamblyn for Davis prior to starting the protopunk band, The Standells ("Dirty Water") in '62. "When we did this, Larry and I were parting company," said Davis. "He was going off with The Standells. But we're very good friends. As a matter of fact, he does the voice for the boy Mattel toys. So when you pull the string and a voice comes back, that's Larry."


Chick Carlton and The Majestics/ The Sunday Funnies
Eddie Davis' first reasonable success was in '59 with Chick Carlton and The Majestics singing, So You Want To Rock. The record didn't make a dent in L.A. but sold well on the east coast. This was Carlton's first record release and Davis' first attempt at producing rock and roll. A good writer, Chick (Carlton Brown) worked with many groups and also helped Eddie produce The Sunday Funnies’,
Watcha Gonna Do.


The Romancers
This band set the mold for the Eastside Sound. They were from Lincoln High School, and were discovered by Billy Cardenas, who thought the group's rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Max Uballez, was the next Richie Valens. While The Romancers never had a major hit with Eddie Davis, they were the most creative of the bands, with a solid stack of originals. Don't Let Her Go is an uptempo rocker by Uballez with a funky Mersey Beat and the Fender-twang of East L.A.'s first guitar god, Andy Tesso. Tell Her I Love Her (No Other Love) is another Uballez sub pop classic.


Phil and Harv
Lead singers for The Mixtures, this duo came to Eddie's attention through KRLA deejay Dick Moreland, who asked him to check them out. The doo-wop ballad Darling (Please Bring Your Love), was written by Mixtures bandleader Delbert Franklin, a singer and saxman with the versatile sextet. But alas, Phil and Harv would be short-lived and soon it was Phil and Del, after Harv was incarcerated. Listen carefully and you'll hear L.A. girl group, The Blossoms, with Darlene Love, filling out the background vocals.


The Atlantics (#1)
A collaboration with drummer Bobby Gross resulted in "Remember The Night" by The Atlantics, an Afro-American vocal group Davis pulled together that included L.A. Doo-woppers The Rivingtons and an 18 year old Barry White. Remember the Night was an Oldies tribute concept in line with other such medleys as "Memories of El Monte" and "Those Oldies But Goodies (Remind Me Of You)."


The Village Callers
If not for this version of Willie Bobo’s Evil Ways, Santana's rendition might never been released. "When I recorded it with The Village Callers, it went Top 10 in San Francisco," Eddie told Propes. "Santana had already recorded their version but Columbia had shelved it. So an A&R man at Columbia named Ed Mathews kept trying to get it released and finally did by showing the Village Callers had charted with it in S.F. But when Columbia released Santana's that was the end of the Village Callers’ version."


The Mixtures
This band was truly the "rainbow" of the “Eastside Sound.” Out of Oxnard but based in Pomona, their name derives from the racial and ethnic collage that made up the group. Led by reedman Delbert Franklin, the group recorded mainly instrumentals and got good regional response, as the groove novelty jam Olive Oyl proves. Written by Eddie Davis, it was a total goof of Popeye and Olive Oyl cooing back and forth.


The Premiers
Co-led by brothers Lawrence (lead guitar) and John Perez (drums/vocals), with Frank Zuniga (electric bass), George Delgado (rhythm guitar/vocals), and Phil Ruiz (sax), The Premiers scored big in '64 with "Farmer John." On Come On And Dream, we hear a collaboration between Larry Tamblyn (of Standells fame) and The Premiers, which bears the sonic stamp of rock and roll's psychedelic era.


Ron Holden
In the late '50s this Portland, Oregon-based singer scored a local hit on Nite Owl Records titled, "I Love You So," that became a big national hit. From the same area as The Kingsmen, Holden is considered to be one of the first to sing Richard Berry's "Louie, Louie" in a way that influenced their version. With his characteristic laid back delivery, Holden did Girl I Love You for Davis in '65 as his career was coming to a close.


Willie G:
The three best singers of the Eastside Sound were Frankie "Little Cannibal" Garcia, Lil Ray Jimenez, and Little Willie G. (Garcia). As the popular lead singer of Thee Midniters, Willie G. was a smooth emotional crooner, barrio star who was greatly influenced by Frank Sinatra. Brown Baby a moving anthem of brown pride was co-produced by Eddie Davis and Mario Paniagua with The Six Pack (pre-Tierra) providing back up.


The Blendells
Huggie's Bunnies is a groove instrumental written by guitarist Andy Tesso, and originally done by The Romancers, in hopes of appealing to Huggy Boy (radio DJ Dick Hugg) for airplay on his popular radio show. As the B-side to The Blendells popular '64 hit "La La La La La," this was a big hit too. Started in 1962 by bassist Mike Rincon, The Blendells hailed from Lincoln Heights, the same neighborhood as The Romancers, and were very talented musicians who were swept up in a whirlwind as a result of the song only to break up a year later.


The Soul-jers:
Crazy Little Things was an upbeat soul stirrer that came out in '66 featuring the duo of Delbert Franklin (The Mixtures) and Phillip Tucker. A play on the word soldier, publicity photos show them dressed in military fatigues and berets with "R" for Rampart Records sewn on. A veteran of WWII, it no doubt played to Eddie Davis' patriotic sympathies as the Vietnam War occupied more space in the headlines.


Larry Tamblyn:
A talented guitarist and singer, This Is The Night was a doo-wop effort by Tamblyn for Davis prior to starting the protopunk band, The Standells ("Dirty Water") in '62. "When we did this, Larry and I were parting company," said Davis. "He was going off with The Standells. But we're very good friends. As a matter of fact, he does the voice for the boy Mattel toys. So when you pull the string and a voice comes back, that's Larry."


Chick Carlton and The Majestics/ The Sunday Funnies
Eddie Davis' first reasonable success was in '59 with Chick Carlton and The Majestics singing, So You Want To Rock. The record didn't make a dent in L.A. but sold well on the east coast. This was Carlton's first record release and Davis' first attempt at producing rock and roll. A good writer, Chick (Carlton Brown) worked with many groups and also helped Eddie produce The Sunday Funnies’, Watcha Gonna Do.


The Romancers
It's hard to imagine what Max Uballez sounded like during the years he couldn't record as a singer, but on Take My Heart you feel the propulsion he and The Romancers could generate. With an interesting fusion of Mexican corrido rock and an Isley Brothers "Shake groove, this electrifying artifact of pre-psychedelic era had an intense beat and a pop melodicism. The remake of the Etta James-Harvey Fugua R&B ballad My Heart Cries was their biggest hit and reached #1 on KRLA. The lush choral arrangement complements the heart-pounding passion of Uballez.


The Mixtures
Rainbow Stomp is a tribute to Rainbow Gardens, one of the incubators of the Eastside Sound. Located in Pomona, it was a spot where Eddie found success promoting dances. At the time, a teen dance couldn't be held in the city of Los Angeles-proper unless it was for a non-profit event. Rainbow Gardens was a safe haven for indie promoters and was the site of appearances by the likes of Fats Domino, as well as being the last place Richie Valens performed in Southern California before his untimely death. Listen for the funky guitar chops of Dan Pollack and imagine this music broadcast live over the KRLA airwaves on a weekend night. A slice-of-heaven.


Cannibal and The Headhunters
"I threw Cannibal into a 1956 Ford airport limousine – long, thin, yellow (they called it ‘banana’) – and we went on the road," is how Davis described his first promotional efforts for Cannibal and The Headhunters. At the time Eddie had a friendly competition going with Chattahoochee Records, which released a version of "Land of a 1000 Dances" by Thee Midniters almost immediately after Eddie had released Cannibal's. KRLA even had a contest to see which one listeners liked best. It was Cannibal and The Headhunters’ version that prevailed. Follow The Music captures the innocent vocal charm embodied by the group and was done immediately following their 1965 Beatles tour. Here Comes Love is Chicano doo-wop with Beach Boys type harmonies and mucho Cali soul.


The Atlantics (#1 and #2) and The Majestics (#1 and #2)
Throughout the West Coast Eastside Sound collections, there are two versions of each band, an Afro-American band (#1) and a Chicano band (#2). Sloop Dance was done by the Chicano Atlantics, a band from El Monte managed by Billy Cardenas. Recorded in late '65 by Bruce Morgan at Stereo Masters in Hollywood, this was probably the last of the Cardenas-Davis collaborations. Boo Hoo Hoo (with the Black Atlantics) is Los Angeles doo-wop at its finest. Eddie was always searching for songs he could produce. He then would hire session musicians to cover them. Gaynel Hodge wrote this "cry baby" stroll and recorded it during the summer of '61 at Capitol Studios using the vocal group The Rivingtons ("Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow). Strange World was another Davis-Gross collaboration, this time with Chick Carlton and The Standells as The Majestics - doo-wop with a garage grunge twist! (I Love Her So Much) It Hurts Me was first recorded by the Robles Brothers (Arthur, David and Ruben) in 1965 and issued on Linda Records as The Majestics (#2). Written by Arthur Robles, and co-produced by Eddie Davis and Max Uballez, The Romancers provided the foundation for an interesting arrangement that featured the Ralph Ventura Mariachi Band.


The Romancers
Uballez describes She Took My Oldsmobile as a "car-lover horror story" told to him by a guy at a bar all depressed because he broke up with his girl and, you got it, she took his Oldsmobile. That's Why I Love You is Romancers unplugged with a feel-good love song.


The Mixtures
Saxman and singer Delbert Franklin (from Oxnard, Ca.), led The Mixtures, a group that was brought to Eddie's attention by Dick Moreland, then a DJ at local station KACY. Del was 19 when he met Eddie, who fell in love with the band immediately. "He loved the idea," remembers Franklin, "that we had Chicano, Black, white, all the races in one band." Their first recording featured Mixtures' lead singers Phil & Harv on "Darling (Please Bring Your Love To Me)," a song written by Franklin. Then, when Harv Willis was unexpectedly incarcerated, Delbert stepped up-front with Phil Tucker on vocals and it’s Phil & Del who are heard on "Don't Play With Love." Franklin and keyboardist Steve Mendoza were instrumental in establishing The Mixtures’ sound, but it's rocker Randy Thomas who's featured on Chinese Checkers. By the late '60s The Mixtures had evolved into The Soul-jers, a potent funk duo featuring Del and Phil (who made up the group), and had a big hit on Los Angeles Black radio station KGFJ, as well as KRLA, with the soul anthem, Gonna Be A Big Man. Del Franklin is still performing sax and vocals with the Southern California funk band, Raw Silk.


The Salas Brothers with The Jaguars
This is the 1958 Mickey & Sylvia classic Love is Strange, with Mario Paniagua playing those Baker riffs. He took The Salas Brothers under his wing and made them his group's singers. Mario was serious and worked the band throughout California until he was admitted to UCLA Medical School in the late '60s. His ultimate instrumental contribution to the “Eastside Sound,” Where Lovers Go, is also included here. With a glisten of reverb, this instrumental ballad is still a must in barrio circles as the money dance for quincieneras and weddings. Myth has it that it's Eddie singing the high soprano background vocal.


Larry Tamblyn and The Standells
On The Girl In My Heart, Tamblyn, who also played organ on the track, has a pleading character to his voice; Tony Valentino provided the crunchy metallic guitar parts. The Standells provide back-up on this 1963 recording, three years before their reign on Tower Records with hits like "Dirty Water."


One G Plus 3
One G Plus 3 (also known as Mas Chicano + One Gringo) featured Rudy Salas (guitar), Manuel Mosqueda from The Romancers (bass), Randy Thomas from The Mixtures (organ) and Max Garduno (percussion).. At the time, a group called the V.I.P.’s recorded a demo called “Viva Tirado” at Eddie’s Teron Studios. Davis liked it and wanted to release it but the group wouldn’t agree. So he put it out by El Chicano, a name thought up by Mario Paniagua and Rudy Benavides. It took off and Eddie licensed it to Kapp Records. But while he had the master tapes he didn’t have a band and came up this aggregation to fill the role. It was to be a short-lived group, however, as the V.I.P.’s quickly agreed to become El Chicano when the song hit. Poquito Soul is a cover of a tune by a New York City band called Señor Soul.


Sammy Lee and The Summits
Hey Joe (Where You Gonna Go), written by Dino Valenti, is a solid sender of deep Los Angeles soul with a groove in the spirit of funk bands like Dyke & The Blazers and Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. This cover adds a soulful spin to a tune recorded by (or at least it seems like it) every Los Angeles band of the ‘60s, including The Byrds, Love, The Music Machine and The Leaves, as well as Jimi Hendrix and Cher.


The Village Callers
As Eddie Davis explains in the liner notes to The Village Callers Live album on Rampart Records, he was introduced to the band by their manager Hector Rivera and first saw them at The Plush Bunny in Pico Rivera. The group, featuring Joe Espinosa (bass), Charles Matsen (congas/sax), Johnny Gonzales (organ/piano), Manuel Fernandez (drums), Fuzzy Martinez (sax) and Angela Bell (vocals), was probably the first Chicano funk band. A portion of the album was recorded live at The Plush Bunny and it was there in May of '68 that Hector was born, immortalizing The Village Callers’ infamous manager. "Ay Hector, you're our manager but you sure are ugly, Hector..." The funky Latino soul jam became a local Los Angeles hit on "Boss" Radio KHJ.


Cannibal and The Headhunters
Obviously a spin-off from the “Naa Na Na Na Naa's" of "Land of a 1000 Dances," Nau Ninny Nau is a great record with a funky beat that was co-produced by Eddie and Max. It was the B-side of "Here Comes Love," which was released at the height of Cannibal and The Headhunters’ popularity. It was Max who came to Eddie's rescue when Billy refused to let The Rhythm Playboys do the "Land of a 1000 Dances" session. Patiently humming parts to each player, he knew how to organize and get the best out of these musicians, as this Chicano "name game" proves.


Little Ray
The most seasoned of the Eastside singers, Ray Jimenez was only 8 when he began performing in Delano, Ca. as Little Elvis. When he was 12 he shared a 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. Jimenez wrote Karen when he was with The Rhythm Kings in Delano and recorded the ballad at 15 for Eddie Davis with a superb delivery that embroiders the melody with raw virtuosic nuance. The flipside, Come Swim With Me, is an answer record to Bobby Freeman's "C’mon and Swim," with a Stevie Wonder-twist. In '65 he hit big with a version of Ben E. King's "I (Who Have Nothing)" that was distributed nationally by Atco. When Motown opened its first West Coast office, Hal Davis signed him to the label, but he never recorded for them. He maintained Eastside stature in later years with his band Little Ray and the Progressions featuring Clarence Playa. Playing hotels, resorts, country clubs, casuals, and nightclubs, Jimenez is still active with Ramon & The LA Brothers or Ray & The Idols.


The Salas Brothers with The Jaguars
These talented brothers from Lincoln Heights are survivors. Rudy and Steve Salas, known for their hits with Tierra (the powerhouse '80s Latin funk ensemble), were just kids when they did these records. The first of the Eastside bands that Cardenas brought to Eddie Davis, they recorded a version of the Phil and Harv hit "Darling (Please Bring Your Love)” in '64. Their answer record, The Return of Farmer John, came out the following year. One Like Mine was written by Mario Panigua and released in '66 to favorable response. Brought up singing Mexican music, The Salas Brothers were featured singers with The Jaguars and had a delightful harmony. With a light Latin flavor, Rudy Salas' voice shines with a stylized polish, full of expression and articulation, that has a Frankie Avalon quality to it.


The Heartbreakers
This group was centered around the duet vocal stylings of brothers Benny and Joe Rodriguez from Roosevelt High in the Boyle Heights section of East Los Angeles. Their big hit was "Cradle Rock" (a Chicano doo-wop tune of the children's lullaby "Rock-a-Bye, Baby") for Bob Keane's Donna Records. Please Answer is a grinder veterano oldie arranged by Billy Cardenas with a duet harmonizing style, common in Mexican traditional music, known as primera y segunda voz (first and second voice). 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.


The Atlantics (#1) with Barry White
Home On The Range, co-produced by Davis and session drummer Bobby Gross at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, featured 18 year-old Barry White with the Los Angeles doo-wop group The Rivingtons. Eddie Davis called them The Atlantics, a name he would use again later. Born in Texas but raised in Los Angeles, White was immersed in the local music scene early and at age 11 played piano on Jesse Belvins’ hit, "Goodnight My Love." In the early '60s, White made several recordings under the pseudonym "Barry Lee" and was with The Upfronts, The Majestics, and The Atlantics. This came out in '63 and the influence of Marvin Gaye on the Southern California soul papa is obvious.


The Premiers
Get Your Baby is East Los Angeles grunge at its best. It's hypnotic with a rock and roll clave beat (a two bar pulse that anchors the rhythmic counterpoint in Afro-Cuban music). Clave was translated into R&B by Bo Diddley ("Bo Diddley"), Johnny Otis ("Willie and The Handjive"), and Richard Berry ("Louie, Louie"). This single, produced by Eddie Davis and Chick Carlton, came out in early '66 as a follow up to their hit "Farmer John." The draft claimed a couple of members and the group disbanded in '68.


Phil and Del with The Mixtures
After Harvey Willis (of Phil and Harv, lead singers for The Mixtures) landed in jail for littering and other charges (and when it was obvious he wasn’t returning), bandleader Del Franklin stepped up and joined Phillip Tucker on vocals. My Girl was one of Eddie's first releases on Rampart Records and has shades of early Motown, with a flute over a jubilant soulful shuffle. The collaboration between Del and Phil would continue to the late '60s with the group The Soul-jers.


The Majestics (#2)
Of the Los Angeles R&B kings, Jesse Belvin was the most loved with tunes like "Earth Angel," "Goodnight My Love," and Girl Of My Dreams continuing to this day are beacons of his legacy. And the second Majestics group Eddie Davis produced in ‘65 (the first was an Afro-American group) articulates Belvin’s impact on the “Eastside Sound,” but the second featured the Robles Brothers - Arthur, David and Ruben - with The Romancers providing back up. The arrangement was by Max Uballez and had a strong mariachi texture that included a melancholy trumpet riff and strings (an “Eastside Sound” first!). It drew from Uballez's earliest musical experiences as a kid checking out Lincoln Heights Mariachi star Eliseo "Ki Ki" Gonzales with Nati Cano y Los Camperos.


Larry Tamblyn
Destiny, by the brother of actor Russ Tamblyn, was the flip side of "This Is The Night," his '61 Los Angeles smash before heading off to start The Standells. The West Coast's answer to The Rolling Stones, Tamblyn worked with Eddie on and off until The Standells hit big with songs like "Dirty Water." Even afterwards, Tamblyn was loyal to Eddie and did several efforts for him with The Standells.


The Salas Brothers
Known for their hits with the powerhouse '80s Latin funk band Tierra, Rudy and Steve Salas were just kids when they started playing with The Jaguars, the first of the Eastside bands that Billy Cardenas brought to Eddie's attention. In January 1964 they made their recording debut with a version of the Phil and Harv hit, "Darling (Please Bring Your Love.” Brought up singing Mexican popular music, The Salas Brothers developed a unique two-part harmony style inspired by the Mexican Trio Los Dandys and well- showcased on this bilingual East side gem, Leaving You.


The Majestics (#1)
Singing lead on Everything Is Gonna Be All Right is R&B pioneer Gaynel Hodge, an unsung talent who wrote the Los Angeles doo-wop classics "I'm A Fool" for The Turks (with whom he sang lead), The Penguins' "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) " and the melancholy black regional hit for The Majestics, "Boo Hoo Hoo." He also sang with The Hollywood Flames. It's probably through session drummer Bobby Gross (who played drums with The Olympics) that Eddie Davis came in contact with this multi-talented artist.


The Romancers
Although The Romancers never had a major national hit with Eddie Davis they were the most creative of the Eastside bands and set the mold for the “Eastside Sound.” Discovered by Billy Cardenas, it was the group's rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist Max Uballez that captured the eye of the people. Cardenas was convinced he was the next Richie Valens. Although they recorded a solid stack of originals, their biggest hit was a remake of the Etta James-Harvey Fugua R&B ballad, "My Heart Cries." She Gives Me Love and Love's The Thing are samplings of pre-psychedelic rock and roll that were also issued as a single on DOT Records as The Smoke Rings. These songs in particular show how these young Chicano bands did not live in a vacuum and were evolving with current developments in American pop music.


Cannibal and The Headhunters
Frankie Garcia received his street name "Little Cannibal" as a kid after biting a boy in a fight. (It must have been a wild family because his brother was called "Big Cannibal.") Raised around the Estrada housing projects, he sang doo-wop with The Royal Jesters and The Rhythm Playboys in his early teens before joining Bobby and the Classics, a vocal group from the Ramona Gardens housing project made up of Robert "Rabbit" Jaramillo, Joe "Yo Yo" Jaramillo, and Richard "Scar" Lopez. Schooled by Black project groups like Zulu and the Warriors (later The Showcases), Please Baby Please is testament to those soulful roots.


The Atlantics (#2)
There were two Atlantics that Eddie produced over the course of his career. The first was a Black group and the second a Chicano group from El Monte. The second Atlantics were brought to Eddie's attention by Billy Cardenas and included the voices of the Robles Brothers (Arthur, David and Ruben). They were produced and guided by Max Uballez, who around 1965 came to work for Eddie Davis as a producer, songwriter, and talent scout. Max had the gift of being able to write tunes on the spot. "Sitting on the rear stairs of the center, I wrote an instrumental and taught it to the band. Eddie suggested we call it Beaver Shot. We recorded it that night," remembers Uballez.


The Premiers
As the Acid Rock era came in, Eastside bands became fascinated with sound effects and distortion, drawing from freeform artists like Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa. This San Gabriel-based band scored big in '64 with "Farmer John." Get On This Plane was a collaboration between Larry Tamblyn (The Standells) and The Premiers.


The Eastside Kids
This group of teens from New York City came to Los Angeles in 1967, searching for a record deal. They met Eddie Davis, who liked their sound and decided to produce them. Listen To The Wise Man was written by James Greenspoon and produced by Eddie Davis and Larry Tamblyn (for Eddie's Valhalla Record label) with bubble gum simplicity and great harmonies.
Tocayo
When Eddie couldn't get the V.I.P.'s to record as El Chicano he had to create a group to fulfill obligations to Johnny Musso of Kapp Records. This is that group. With Rudy Salas on guitar, they did several tracks at the Decca Studios that were later released on Gordo. Con Safos is one of the survivor songs from those sessions.


Thee Enchantments
Singer Eddie Serrano, who was tragically killed in the mid-90s, led this group. I'm In Love With Your Daughter (Pt.1) was their only regional hit.
Nothing I Wouldn't Do shows the strong influence of Johnny Ace on this Portland, Oregon-based singer with a classic "cross my heart and hope to die" lament that includes a cool talking bridge. Holden scored a national hit in the '60s on Donna Records, titled "Love You So." From the Northwest, the same region as The Kingsmen, Holden is considered to be one of the first to sing Richard Berry's "Louie, Louie" in a way that influenced their hit version.


The Mixtures and Phil and Del
With the superb Gene Ammons-inspired tenor sax of Del Franklin, Poochum (AKA Slow Shift) is a deep groove. Featuring keyboardist Randy Thomas on one of the first electric pianos around (loaned to them for the session by Tommy Boyce of the songwriting team Boyce & Hart), Don't Play With Love is Phil and Del (Phil Tucker and Del Franklin) at their best.


Eastside Connection
This potent Latin funk band got a small taste of the big time after "You're So Right For Me." Written by Harry Scorzo Jr., a superb violinist and part of the L.A. salsa band, Bongologic, it featured a cast of musicians who are now widely-respected talents around Los Angeles like Bertha Oropeza (lead vocals), Sal Rodriguez (drums), Dick Mitchell (reeds), Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet), John Cerecedes (guitar), Bert Oropeza (keys), Dolores Scorzo (vocals), and Shane Salcedo (vocals). Under the direction of bassist Hector Gonzalez, a student of the great studio bass player Chuck Rainey, the band garnered a strong reputation in the United Kingdom and Canada, and scored an additional hit a couple of years later with "Frisco Disco." Davis, who had introduced the floating head concept (pictures of bands and solo artists on the 45 RPM label), here brought the barrio the 12" vinyl single.


Meep Meep & The Roadrunners
Justine was recorded for Eddie Davis at a time when Ronnie & The Pomona Casuals were still signed to Bob Keane's Del-Fi Records. The group released the song under the alias Meep Meep & The Roadrunners on the Boomerang label so they wouldn’t get in trouble with Del-Fi. They were managed by Chicano music pioneer Billy Cardenas (a protégé of renowned R&B producer Bumps Blackwell).