LATIN SOUL CRUISE 2019 – STAR LINEUP
Brenton Wood’s charmingly unpredictable phrasing and his infectious sense of good times made the smooth uptown soul of “The Oogum Boogum Song” and “Gimme Little Sign” into hits in 1967. Born Alfred Jesse Smith in Shreveport, LA, Brenton Wood moved west to San Pedro, CA, as a child. While he was studying at Compton College, he assumed the name Brenton Wood, naming himself after his home county. Signing with Double Shot Records, Wood had a hit single in the spring of 1967 with “The Oogum Boogum Song,” which reached number 19 on the R&B charts and number 34 pop. It was quickly followed by “Gimme Little Sign,” which climbed to number nine pop and matched its predecessor’s R&B position.
Tierra has the distinction of being the first Latino band to have four songs on the national chart with two of them in the Top 100 at the same time. In 1980 they had a platinum hit with their version “Together” which was a remake of the 1967 song by The Intruders. The song which was written by Gamble & Huff, reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100, #30 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #9 on the US Billboard R&B chart. A few months later they had another chart hit with “Memories”. Later in the year they charted again with “La La Means I Love You”
Malo’s 1972 Top 20 hit single, “Suavecito” (meaning “soft” or “smooth” in Spanish), has been called “The Chicano National Anthem”. They were signed to Warner Brothers Records and recorded their first album, which was simply entitled “Malo” (BS-2584). Arcelio co-wrote four of the six songs, including their classics “Nena” and “Cafe.” Released in 1972, “Malo” also included “Suavecito,” which had evolved from a song they had written and been doing in clubs called “My Love.” Malo is loved to this day by their core fans and latin music lovers.
Thee Midniters were an American group, among the first Chicano rock bands to have a major hit in the United States. Also they were and one of the best known acts to come out of East Los Angeles in the 1960s, with a cover of “Land of a Thousand Dances”, and the instrumental track, “Whittier Boulevard” in 1965. They were among the first rock acts to openly sing about Chicano themes in songs such as “Chicano Power” and “The Ballad of César Chávez” in the late 1960s.
Sunny & the Sunglows (AKA Sunny & the Sunliners) formed in 1959 in San Antonio, Texas. The group’s members were all Chicano with the exception of Amos Johnson Jr., and their style was a blend of rhythm and blues, tejano, blues, and mariachi. They first recorded in 1962 for their own label, Sunglow. Okeh Records picked up their single “Golly Gee” for national distribution that year, and in 1963 they also recorded a remake of Little Willie John’s 1958 hit, “Talk to Me, Talk to Me”. The single “Talk to Me” (b/w “Every Week, Every Month, Every Year”), released on Tear Drop Records (#3014), went to #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #12 on the US Black Singles chart, and #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1963.
Aalon is an American soul group from Los Angeles formed by lead singer and guitarist Aalon Butler. Butler played guitar for Eric Burdon in the 1970s prior to forming the band Aalon, which signed to Arista Records in 1977. Their debut album, Cream City, reached #45 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart, while the title single peaked at #44 on the R&B Singles chart. Aalon Butler is regularly known as the “Original Rock and Roll Gangster” after the success of this song that was featured in an episode of The Boondocks, specifically “The Story of Gangstalicious 2”.