For over 40 years, Bobby Espinosa's signature sound on the Hammond B-3 organ was the foundation of the original El Chicano sound, together with bassist Freddie Sanchez & guitarist Mickey Lespron, El Chicano was able to create their own Latin Rock sound.
With influences ranging from jazz, blues and R&B, El Chicano's distinctive groove became the soundtrack for music lovers around the world with classic numbers like "Tell her she's lovely", "The Latin one", "One More Night", "Mas Zacate", "Brown Eyed Girl", "El Cayuco", "Cha Chita", "Sabor a Mi" and of course the tune that brought the band into the immediate spotlight 'Viva Tirado' that was an old jazz standard by Gerald Wilson that was written for Bullfighter Jose Ramon Tirado.
The band adapted this tune as their break tune and little did they know that it would become an international hit. It became a Chicano Anthem and was and still is apart of the soundtrack for Chicano Music. This classic was a hit on local Los Angeles radio and was listed as #28 on the pop billboard chart and #20 on the R&B Charts and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart, even getting airplay on country western stations.
It became their signature tune.
It was in 1969 that a struggling Eastside band called the VIP's came to the attention of Eddie Davis and a new chapter in the history of Chicano Rock was about to be recorded. Eddie Davis went on to press some DJ copies on his Gordo label and the rest as they say is history. Bobby was apart of every El Chicano recording and his accomplishments included being a producer, composer and vocalist.
Bobby was recently inducted into "Hammond Heroes" an elite society of the best players on the Hammond organ, an Honor bestowed on only the most gifted musicians; He has been the only "Chicano Artist" ever to be recognized for his unique style of Blues, Jazz and Latin music on the Hammond B3 organ.
Bobby passed away on Saturday February 27th and our hearts and prayers go out to the Espinosa and El Chicano family. We now present to you a special musical tribute to celebrate Bobby's life and contributions to nuestra musica. We welcome your comments and any personal notes regarding Bobby and El Chicanos music that you would like to share with his familia, friends and fans.
This is El ChicanoÔÇªthis is Bobby Espinosa. Que Viva la musicaÔÇª
We welcome you to join us on www.EastLArevue.com for this special Tribute to Bobby Espinosa with your host Chico Manqueros
Chico Manqueros is the host / producer for Gozando with Chico can be heard worldwide on www.EastLArevue.com. Chico has been a radio host featuring Latin Jazz and Chicano music for 26 years now. Author's website