Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Royal Jesters - Yo Soy Chicano

Royal Jesters on MySpace

Doo-Wop "...hits like "My Angel of Love," "We Go Together" and "That Girl" placed the Royal Jesters in rock and roll's '50s and 60's halls of history. Later those hits led to mega success for the Royal Jesters in the emerging Chicano music scene of the 70s where they struck a new chord with "Yo Soy Chicano," "Me Voy Pa Houston" and "Carino Nuevo." 

The Royal Jesters were born in the summer of 1958 after Oscar Lawson and Henry Hernandez met at a church talent show in San Antonio's West side. Some of the members wanted to name the group the Jesters, others wanted the Royals. "We decided to use both of the names," says Henry. "That's the way we did things. I gave in to Oscar's ideas and he gave in to mine. That's why we worked so well together." Their team work paid off. By the Spring of 1959, they had recorded "My Angel of Love," written by Lawson and sung in harmony with all the soul of a music that simply made you want to rock and roll. 

A string of hit singles-- in the 50s and 60s complete albums were not the norm they are today-- made the Royal Jesters the preferred group of the day. Successive recording contracts with Harlem Records (who also recorded Dough Sahm), Bell Records (the same label that recorded the Fifth Dimension) and Tower Records spread their name and their three-part harmony across the country and as far away as Europe. Apart from the many singles they recorded and released, The Royal Jesters recorded two complete English language albums, "We Go Together," and "Chevere." But the Royal Jesters had their eyes set on the future. And for Oscar and Henry that meant recording in Spanish. "Oscar had been reading in industry magazines that Chicano music was a sleeping giant that would one day wake up," tells Henry. So the group jumped right in. In 1973 the Royal Jesters teamed up with producer Manuel "Manny" Guerra, and began recording their own kind of Tex-Mex music that many fans still remember most. Under MGP Records they recorded "Yo Soy Chicano," "The Second Album," and "The Band."..."  Chito de la Torre
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Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt