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T'was the Week Before Christmas ...

A little news from the Brown Side of Town

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: December 22, 2014


T'was the Week Before Christmas ...


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all!

The Holiday Season is well upon us, gracias a Dios, and just before we the lucky, blessed, and free fully digest our great Thanksgiving Day feasts of turkey, ham, tamales, and tons of pumpkin pie & kool whip, we are now faced with more food and Christmas cheer, GOD willing‘«™.

I cannot start ANY story off with the mentioning of being FREE, without thanking the brave men & women serving our Country in uniform around the World keeping us free as you read this, and also thanking those who have served our Country in the past with honor.

Without you and your service, we wouldn't BE free and able to celebrate the Holidays in a free country as we do. THANK YOU!!!

This piece, I'm going to leave out my usual political ranting about shoppers idiotas, taxes, politicians y todo, so Happy Christmas!

(El Editor & staff high fivin' on THAT one, LOL!)

I think one of the most blessed and fortunate things about the Holidays is that we the fortunate can share our luck and extra blessings with those less fortunate if we got the heart.

THANK YOU to all you L.A. music artists who fell out and supported causes! Some of you have put forth some heavy efforts to keep the people happy with your music & talent all year long, and it is appreciated!

I was so impressed and touched by all the fundraiser events and community meals taking place in the Land of 1000 Dances that benefited kids, Veterans, and the homeless this past month. I wouldn't live anywhere but L.A., despite what you see on the morning news!

Concerts, free meals, and Toys for Tots collections was what it has been about this month, and I was lucky to have been a part of a couple of good moments.

Starting off the month of December for me, I was honored to join The SMOOTH RESPONSE Band and promoter Debra Perez on Arturo Esparza's EL MONTE LIVE TONIGHT Cable TV show to help announce upcoming Holiday Shows & events benefiting Veterans & the needy in the San Gabriel Valley, and then joining Debra Perez again the following week with the Inland Empire's VIEJITOS Car Club, along with some young men of The United States Marine Corps, at a Car Show / Toys for Tots fundraiser car show/concert featuring the powerful BLUE HAZE and BB WOLF Bands.

A good crowd, lot's of good music and vendor booths, and I was honored to be MC and house DJ as two handsome young Marines stood guard by overflowing boxes of donated toys on a beautiful day for a beautiful cause.

A big thanks to Hebie Castro (USMC Veteran) who brought in the powerful bands that played all day long for the crowd's enjoyment.

The next week, it was happening in the fabled Land of 1000 Dances City of San Fernando, California for a pre- hristmas Rock & Soul Concert Show & Dance, sponsored by East L.A. Revue Radio, LatinoLA, the City of San Fernando, and El Siete Mares Restaurant where a canned food drive for the M.E.N.D. Organization (Meet Each Need with Dignity) helped collect a good sized amount of food to help feed the needy. Gifts for kids and a nice monetary contribution from Mr. Elias Duran were also received that made the night right.

The night drew about 250-300 of the finest Gente in the San Fernando Valley & beyond, with some Gente coming as far as the Inland Empire to support the cause.

The music talent was first class, headlined by Santa Barbara's GROOVELINE Band, featuring "The Soul Man de Santa Barbara" Mr. PEPE MARQUEZ, and SFV's "Diamond of the Valley" Ms. BECKY CORDOVA, and master keyboardist RAY CORDOVA, who did triple duty as sound engineer & equipment manager, along with a fine performance and music director.

"Son of Soul" singer Vinnie Clemente Marquez also jumped up on stage for a fine hip-hop number, joining his father & the GROOVELINE Band in some hot rhythm & soul.

Special musical guest artists included "Mr. Brown Eyed Soul" singer HANK CASTRO, The KOOL KATZ Art & Kelly Galvan, the Queen of the Inland Empire MONIBEE HENLEY, with percussionists JAY PACHECO, CHICO MANQUEROS and TITUS SMITH rounding out the group that made the night rock with good music.

The nationally acclaimed MARIACHI SONIDO INTERNACIONAL also added to the bill and gave up two great sets of first class Mariachi classics, and invited the fabulous Monibee Henley up to join them for 2 sizzling musical numbers that drew standing ovations from the lovers of Mariachi in the crowd.

DJ music was provided by yours truly and Mike "Timebomb" Castanon, while East L.A. Revue Radio's DJ SUGARBEAR and the lovely Ladies of the "Fearsome Foursome" served as welcoming committee throughout the night.

Highlight of the night was the 3 divas BECKY CORDOVA, KELLY GALVAN, and MONIBEE HENLEY all joining together on stage for a memorable, once in a lifetime performance that had mouths dropping open, and the crowd taking a collective sigh of "WOW!" as all three powerful Ladies of Chicano Soul took turns belting out lyrics in their own personal style while the GROOVELINE Band rocked the house ‘«™ you should have been there!

The night was magic‘«™Thank you, San Fernando ! Merry Christmas!

This past weekend was the bomb as I was again honored to MC & DJ the "Soul Holiday by the Sea ", Show at San Pedro's famous Post's O' Call Village, featuring the STARLIGHTS, TEMPTATIONS, and RICK'S JAMNESIA. DJ Mike Castanon served as co-host, and even jumped up on stage and provided a little percussion with the Temptations.

The Starlights, a most talented gospel funk-rock-soul group out of Compton , opened the show up with some dazzling soul-funk numbers that would make anybody boogie on down to church and jam with Jesus. Their rendition of "Oh happy day" had everybody in the house singing along.

The TEMPTATIONS Revue were once again in top form, dancing, singing, and otherwise dazzling the veteran crowd with the timeless Motown hits of the TEMPTATIONS, probably the best TEMPTATIONS tribute show in the Country today.

Lot's of music veteran guests in the crowd included Charles Wright, Billy Foster of the original Medallions, Walter Saulsberry of the Penguins, Ron Crowder of Sly,Slick & the Wicked, Ron Preyor of The Younghearts, Greg Matta of Side Effect, and Hank Dixon, Terri Dixon, and Defrantz Forest of the Originals.

East L.A.'s DJ Looney chilled on his turn tables, duded up, and flexed a little muscle as he served as security and one man welcoming committee.

(Wow! A band from Compton, 2 DJ's & a Security man from East L.A. and NOBODY was hurt, and NO graffiti in the bathroom!...where was channel 5 News ? LOL!)

Of course it couldn't have been a complete night without a killer closing performance by Titus Smith & Rick's Jamnesia. Puttin' out an energetic set of Oldies, Soul, and Funk, Rick's Jamnesia kept the dance floor full till closing, and proved why they are one of the L.A. Harbor-Bay Area's top bands.

Big thanks to promoters Ms Christina Mirasol and Titus Smith for putting on another great show by the sea in San Pedro on a beautiful Friday night under the stars.

The next night, it was on the road to Chino and American Legion Post 299, where I was honored to serve as Host, MC and DJ for the Veterans & good people of Chino for a great Christmas dance put on by Johnny Elias & sister Dicey Elias, and lucky to join up with the incomparable LOUIE PARRA & Thee MAD LATINS, who of course, put on a fine performance of music, singing & stage dancing.

Louie Parra and his trademark "Get On Up" song and dance routine, not to mention his rendition of Thee Midniter classics, continue to make him one of Aztlan's favorite performers along with The Mad Latins Band, and tonight, Louie was in fine form indeed!

Featuring the marvelous LULU CARDONA, who is such a fine entertainer to watch, let alone enjoying her great singing voice, Thee Mad Latins also beefed it up tonight with heavy hitter guest musicians Danny-Boy Padilla, Larry Rendon, Tony Banda, George Dez, and Mike "The Timebomb" Castanon‘«™and the sound was nuclear !

It was great show & dance, The Mad Latins & I put out the music the people wanted to hear, some wonderful gifts were raffled off in time for Christmas‘«™and the people danced and made merry till past midnight‘«™isn't THAT the way it's supposed to be in the Land of 1000 Dances?

This New Year's Eve, the Fearsome Foursome will be hooking up with the Kool Katz Art & Kelly Galvan, and making it a night at Norwalk's Guesthouse Hotel and spending the end of 2014 with the electrifying TEASE Band and the Classic SANGRIA Band in da house!!

My wishes for the end of the year and a beginning of a new one: That we come closer to a cure for cancer, that our troops come home safe & soon, and may YOUR life be filled with family, friends, music, art, happiness, and Carnalismo!

Happy Holidays from LatinoLA, East L.A. Revue Radio, Chicano Express Radio, and Califaztlan on FB.

Ay te watcho‘«™from the Land of 1000 Dances!

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