Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Category: Latin rock

"Rise"
Zeroto180

“Rise”: The Spirit of Sahm

It was hard not to get swept up in Ed Ward‘s enthusiasm in his October 1, 1970 Rolling Stone review of an up-and-coming Texan band (by way of Prunedale, California) that had been “discovered” and mentored by Doug Sahm.  The band’s debut, a masterpiece in Ward’s estimation, had been released

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"Hitchcock Railway"
Zeroto180

“Hitchcock Railway”: Train Line of Liberation

“Hitchcock Railway” – the A-side of a 1968 RCA single by José Feliciano released here and abroad – made the Top 100 here in the US (#77) and Top 40 in Australia (#20): Musical Personnel José Feliciano – vocals & guitar Ray Brown – string bass Jim Gordon – drums

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"Spanish Grease"
Zeroto180

“Spanish Grease”: El Chicano Covers Willie Bobo

El Chicano – a Los Angeles band who created what they termed, “the brown sound” – hit the US top 40 in 1970 with the Latin jazz funk instrumental, “Viva Tirado” on the Kapp label. (image courtesy of Discogs) Kapp – an indie label started in 1954 by David Kapp,

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"Nitty Gritty"
Zeroto180

’20 Heavy Hits’: If For No Other Reason, the Album Cover

Not too long ago I picked up 20 Heavy Hits, a bubblegum-leaning collection of radio hits from 1968 that appears to be the predecessor to Crystal Corporation’s, 20 Solid Gold Hits.  Even though it was only a buck, I almost didn’t get it since I already had most of the

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"Cerveza"
Zeroto180

Pop & Rock’s Latin Roots: “Cerveza”

The Drifters’ original 1961 version of “Sweet for My Sweets” has a distinct Latin feel — which brings to mind a piece of writing by Dave Marsh that I found to be illuminating some years ago, still do. In his 1984 article for The Boston Phoenix – “Rock and Roll’s

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