Motown and the Marines Rock San Fernando

A warm night of music and love in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: February 15, 2011

Motown and the Marines Rock San Fernando

Man! ..what a party!...what a crowd !...the Marines did it again !

If you missed the recent Tribute to the Legends of Motown concert in San Fernando last Saturday, you missed out big time!

The Marines of the San Fernando Valley Marine Corps League, the San Fernando American Legion, and BUDWEISER the King of Beers, put on one of the better shows in L.A. this weekend to a packed and enthusiastic sell out crowd.

I was honored to serve as Host and Master of Ceremonies, and along with the master mixes of DJ Jr. Najar, the BROTHERS OF FUNK Band,and the excellent and the perfect concert sound & lighting engineering from the Eddie Casillas Professional Sound crew, the audience was treated to a fantastic experience of colors, sights, and sounds of a memorable performance.

The historic San Fernando American Legion Hall was magically transformed into a concert hall through the efforts & hard work of the dedicated & creative Marines of the SFV Detachment 1277 of the Marine Corps League and members of Post 176 of the American Legion, and the party was on!

Opening the show, the DELFONICS came on stage to their first San Fernando Valley appearance and wowed the crowd into mellow comfort, singing all their great hits, setting the mood of MOTOWN, and dedicating their memorable "La La Means I Love You" to the ladies in the house.

Next, bringing laughs, giggles, and a whole lot of good feelings, Comedian GILBERT ESQUIVEL, a crowd favorite from the home~town of Pacoima, hit the stage for a brief comedy set that had the audience rolling in the aisles with laughter, and got him a well-deserved standing ovation.

As always, Gilbert gave a heart warming dedication and tribute to our military veterans , their families, and our brave young people serving overseas...

...the guy's got a heart of gold! (not to mention one hell of a funnybone!)

Next up, also making their first San Fernando Valley appearance, THE FOUR TOPS came up and got the folks dancing in their seats with a heavy performance of dance and classic songs that brought back some pleasant memories as the audience sang along to many of their songs. Very impressive act indeed, as they danced offstage to a haunting version of "Still Waters Run Deep"...

Finally, you could feel the electricity and excitement in the air as the charged & anticipating audience rose to their feet as the mighty TEMPTATIONS hit the stage, dancing in step and entering to the powerful sound of their classic hit "Get Ready " and the roar of the crowd, camera flashes going off, looking absolutely fabulous in red sequined zoot suits with white french lace shirts. WOW! ...you don't get treated to THAT very often anymore !

Singing many classic TEMPTATION favorites, they also stole the audience's heart with an oldies tribute medley that included the Smokey Robinson & Miracle's timeless classic "Ooh, Baby, Baby".

Group leader CLEVELAND JONES dedicated their performance the many military veterans in the audience and their families, along with the memory of the original TEMPTATIONS, whose legacy they were more than faithfully perpetuating with a knock out performance of high energy dance routines, jokes, vocal solos from all 5 of the TEMPTATIONS, dedications, and of course, their time honored "Can you sing this song?" part of the show where they call up members of the audience to join them in signing the eternal TEMPTATIONS classic " My Girl."

Community activist William "Blinky" Rodriguez found himself on stage with the TEMPTATIONS singing, while the Marine Corps League's Commandant Bennie Najar Jr. had all five of the TEMPTATIONS dancing the gangster lean and "leaning like a cholo" , much to the crowd's delight and laughter.

Among the honored guests was our very own El Editor ~ Abelardo de la Pena Jr. and his lovey wife Linda and Mr. Steven Chavez of the EAST LA REVUE Radio, along wih his lovely wife Janie.

All in all, It was a warm night of music, laughter, and love as a community celebrated life as it should ...as a community united!

As always...." Leave it to the Marines!".....

Note: More shows coming to the San Fernando American Legion soon!

Keep your eye here on LatinoLA.com !

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 world wide Internet Radio.
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