A Salute and Birthday Wish Come True

Louie Parra & Thee Mad Latins give tribute to our military veterans while celebrating his birthday & engagement in Chino

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: June 5, 2014

A Salute and Birthday Wish Come True

It was another great weekend in the Land of 1000 Dances, ending another great week of music and performances by some of the West Coast's finest music artists, great weather, and some celebratory sports news.

DW3 performed on the Arsenio Hall Show earlier in the week. Sal Rodriguez of WAR sang the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium. The L.A. Kings are going to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Jumpin' Jack Benny rocked the Triple B Blues Festival. Bob DeSena's new CD "Cafe y Puro" came out, and some cuts made their debut on East L.A. Revue Radio to great response, and I was honored to write the liner notes.

The poolside Salsa party at the Whittier Radisson Hotel rocked on Friday night, Becky & Ray Cordova joined Pepe Marquez and the Grooveline Band and rocked Oxnard sideways at the Pirate's Grub & Grog Restaurant. I was visited by four grandkids who spent ALL of Saturday morning with us ‘«™ and I finally made it out to the fair City of Chino to hang out & party with my Brother Military Veterans and their familias at a great party, with a great group of music artists on a mellow and beautiful Califas Saturday summer night.

Johnny Elias and Dicey Elias Garcia put together a great show in honor of our U.S. Military Veterans and their families at the Chino American Legion Post 299, and the night was a huge success. Food and drink galore, dancing, laughing & reminiscing was the order of the night, as the Veterans & good people of Chino were most warm & welcoming.

I even ran into an old high school lady friend (that I once had a crush on, LOL!) from the old neighborhood of Bassett that I hadn't seen for many, many years‘«™ After 40 years, I finally got a "Welcome Home" dance with her! ... We laughed as I told her she was once One of the five" I wanted to dance with when I came home from overseas. (ALL five couldn't be found when I got home, LOL!)

The stars of the evening, LOUIE PARRA & Thee MAD LATINS, featuring the marvelous LULU CARDONA, were simply on their J-O-B Saturday night at the Chino American Legion Hall, as they rocked the house and packed the dance floor till after midnight with a solid performance, and with some very special guests for more than one special occasion.

As expected, "EL Soul Pachuco" vocalist/dancer/timbalero Mr. Louie Parra was lookin' clean and on the mark. Dancing and singing his heart out for the Gente, it was also his birthday, and he announced his engagement and upcoming wedding to his beautiful lady Arlene. He was just as in the mood to party as the rest of the crowd‘«™and he showed it !

(check out his "Sex Machine" clip on my FB page)

Also as expected, the Dynamic Diva Ms. Lulu Cardona simply melted hearts with her dazzling stage performance and God-given singing talent, as she gave up a wonderful performance that drew her more than one loud standing ovation. During her Oldies medley, it seems the dancers on the floor simply froze in admiration, as Lulu belted out some favorites that had us all just staring & screaming out our approval & respect ‘«™ it was as if she was singing just to me & my Lady. (check her video clip on my FB page!)...I even got a kiss on the dance floor from my Lady!

There was also the pleasant element of surprise as the attending crowd was privvy to enjoy some 'top gun' guest star musicians like keyboardist Karl Carrasco (Lava & The Hotrocks, Cannibal & the Headhunters, Thee Midniters Bands), bass player Tony Banda (Poncho Sanchez Band, TIERRA), saxophonist Larry Rendon (one of the original Thee Midniters), Bobby Dorado on guitar (Thee Midniters), and Joe Banana on saxophone, who added a righteous "zing" to the night's performance as they joined Thee Mad Latin's drummer Rene "Reenie" Flores, and Eddie Saldana on bongos & congas, and they made some beautiful music for the Gente.

The night was a blast, I had fun, and I was honored to be Host & MC‘«™ but 1 AM came to early and too quickly ‘«™ and like all good songs, and all good rides, this one came to a happy end.

Louie Parra & Thee Mad Latins are scheduled to be back at the Chino American Legion Post 299 on September 27th by popular demand‘«™ I've been invited back as well.

We gonna be there! ... won't you join us?

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone and the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul heard daily on www.eastLArevue.com
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