Ram Herrera with special guest El Chicano
Ram became the lead singer for David Lee Garza Y Los Musicales in 1981 and audiences across the country saw him shine like a star. So bright in fact that he was signed to his own high profile solo recording contract. Selena often opened shows for him and it was Ram Herrera on the bill with her at the now famous concert at the Houston Rodeo depicted in the Selena movie. Now, in the middle of his career, twenty years and twenty four records later, Ram’s new “Ingrata” CD is nominated for a La tin Grammy Award.
In addition to Gold Records, Vocalist, Entertainer, Song and Album of the Year Awards and a Grammy nomination, Ram has received the Humanitarian Award and Texas Governor Ann Richards’ recognition for his work with Teach The Children. It’s easy for an entertainer to be described as a good person in a press release. It’s all together different to be known on the street as a man who gives from his heart. Ram has been a driving force for the Brown Santa organization, collecting toys and food for those who would otherwise do without.
Through services such as the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner and the Texas Diabetes Association, Ram’s efforts have bettered many people’s lives.
Ram Herrera has the biggest, smoothest voice in Texas. He leads “The Outlaws” a red hot horn powered big band that owns the stage, thrilling audiences on everything from hooky cambia’s and power ballads to cool Salsa grooves and hot Latin rock. Ram, his band and his organization put musical quality and production value first and it shows in the incredible excitement they generate in town after town, night after night. Ram is excited about his relationship with Tejas Records which he feels will allow him to make more of the best CDs of his career. His 25th CD will be his historic first “Live In Concert” album, recorded by Grammy award winner Malcohm Harper and set for release on October 1st, 2002. Pre-production is starting now for his next studio project, the follow-up to the Internationally recognized “Ingrata” album.
Ram is focused on the future, more excited than ever about entertaining his fans, both live and on CD, and that energy is leading to greater success. The best example is the recent recognition from the Grammy organization which has caused media from all over the world to search for “The Most Wanted Man In Texas”.
It’s said that success comes to those with great talent and it lasts for those that know what to do with it. Take a close look at the musical career of Ram Herrera and you will see how true that is. Now and in the years to come, watch with us as Ram continues to achieve new heights within the music industry.
El Chicano grew out of the burgeoning Latino music scene from the streets of East Los Angeles. Originally as “The VIP’s”, founded by Freddie Sanchez, El Chicano was the most successful of the L.A. Latino Rock recording artists. Their 7 album run for MCA Records included classic albums such as Viva Tirado, Celebration, Revolucion,El Chicano and Cinco. Viva Tirado (a tribute to Mexican bullfighter, Jose Ramon Tirado) composed by Maestro Gerald Wilson, was their big crossover smash. It was significant also for charting in all music chart categories, apart from country and western, and garnered the group their first Gold Record in 1970. and voted by Billboard and Cashbox publications the #1 Jazz group of the year. The Revolucion album featured Ersi Arvisu on the beautiful ballad “Sabor A Mi ”, an Eastside anthem. The Celebration album featured knockout versions of Cream’s “I Feel Free”, Joe Zawinul’s “In A Silent Way”, and a superb cover of Van Morrison’s composition “Brown Eyed Girl”, highlighting the vocals of Freddie Sanchez and Steve Salas with a Latin rock groove – another classic cut. Their recordings showed a versatile and wide ranging adaptation of all that was currently hip and happening in the 70’s USA music scene.
“Tell Her She’s Lovely”, featuring the strong vocals of Jerry Salas, was another Top 40 hit in 1973 on the self-titled LP, El Chicano, that also went Gold for the group. Over a 40 year span, the group has garnered 5 Gold records and was voted #1 Jazz group of 1970. Ten Albums recorded and over 50 compilations with their music also being used on several Major movies. And have been awarded several times for their contributions to community and charities that help children and the arts.
El Chicano has performed in different venues worldwide with many major artists including the Allman Brothers, Chaka Kahn, Jose Feliciano,the Jacksons, Lou Rawls, Sonny & Cher, Earth Wind & Fire, Santana, Rare Earth, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder,Three Dog Night, Rod Stewart, the Guess Who, James Brown,the O’Jays, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations,and the Four Tops – almost too many more to mention, including a long list of Jazz and Latino Artists.
The group has recorded with many musical legends over the years and is still active in the recording studio. Freddie Sanchez, Mickey Lespron and Jerry Salas have rejoined forces to work on new music for an upcoming CD featuring the distinctive El Chicano signature sound.
El Chicano was driven by the swirling, bluesy shades of Bobby Espinosa’s Hammond B3 organ sound. Espinosa’s distinctive sound was up there with some of the best organists around, and integrated the sounds of Jimmy Smith and other Hammond B3 greats into the Latin Rock pantheon. Add to this the underpinning bajo of Freddie Sanchez, with the atmospheric jazz flecked guitar chording and lead lines of Mickey Lespron. Pulling the top line together was the hot rhythm foundation of Andre Baeza on congas, Rudy Regalado on timbales, and John De Luna on drums. The band’s cooking live shows always mixed hot band originals with their carefully crafted cover versions, which never failed to hit the spot!!
Bobby Espinosa has been chosen to be part of a documentary entitled “Hammond Heroes”, a profile of the best Hammond players of the last decades. He is the first Chicano to be so honored. Freddie Sanchez is also coordinating the release of their upcoming autobiographical book, “Through The Eyes Of El Chicano”.
Currently available on Thump Records are the “Latin Legends Live CD” with Tierra and Malo, and the CD “Painting The Moment”. Their latest CD release is included as part of the “20TH CENTURY MASTERS/THE MILLENNIUM COLLECTION”, featuring new “Best of” albums from the most significant music artists of the past century. The Collection has become the most successful artist series in music history. El Chicano continues to perform, in 2010, after celebrating with a special performance at the 40th anniversary of “WOODSTOCK, the WestFest” at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in October 2009, where the group actually celebrated their own 40th Anniversary. The audience giving them a well-deserved standing ovation and shouts of ”Viva El Chicano”!
Three live videos will be released in 2010: ”In The Eye Of The Storm”, “Latin Music Legends”, and a live performance at The Warwick Theater in San Francisco for “The Voices of Latin Rock” Autism Awareness Benefit.
With the untimely passing of original members Bobby Espinosa and Rudy Regalado in 2010, Freddie Sanchez who is the groups Manager and Leader says El Chicano is dedicated to continue with the musical legacy that was their passion. The focus for the group now is ”EL CHICANO VIVE!”
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