Monday, April 11, 2011

You've got me so torn up....

I hate to make such a broad generalization, but I'm not a huge fan of many of the soul/funk sides to come out of San Antonio during the 60's and 70's. I just don't hear many great singers in the bunch, which to my ears makes much of the city's output sound like "frat" soul/RnB. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not a sub-genre that cranks me all that much. For that matter it's unlikely you'll see me post anything by New Orleans' own Jokers.

Still, it's impossible to deny that Sunny and the Sunliners [and before that the Sunglows] were a great band with some killer tunes to their name. And to give credit where credit is due, Sunny Ozuna is arguably one of the best singers to have come out of San Antonio. Certainly I'd rather listen to him than a whole mess of others. Ozuna is of course still at it and much revered throughout South Texas. There are several nice collections of his work around.

While it's impossible to overlook the farfisa organ on this tune, it wouldn't swing nearly so hard without the superbly timed horn "punches" or the totally cool sound of that drum beat.

Hope ya'll enjoy....

The video below is neither Sunny Ozuna related, nor even an example of the area's traditional Conjunto polka [it's straight up cumbia]. I was just looking for an excuse to post the clip 'cause I used to hear this song all the time when I lived around the corner from a Tejano bar in Austin. They really used to crank up the jukebox on this one.

I know only a little about the Garcia Brothers. They used to go by Los Quatro Vatos Locos and are originally from Eagle Pass, Texas. Jimmy Garcia [who's playing the sax in the clip] was a excellent accordion player and is now unfortunately dead.


  1. Rocky Gil's "Soul Party" is probably my favorite of this genre, although Sunny's "Hip Huggin Mini" is pretty awesome too....

  2. wow, I love that sunny and the sunliners track - thanks!

  3. Colby....I either don't know the Rocky Gil record or can't remember it. But then, I've more or less quit looking through some of the more common labels like Teardrop. I find it a little like going through 45s on Goldband, just less satisfying.

    Duncan....glad you like it. The 45 usually doesn't sell for much. The record Colby mentions above, "Hip Huggin Mini" is good too.

  4. This is the first time I've heard Sunny & The Sunliners. Great tune. The opening reminded me of the opening of "Doggn' Me Around" by Jackie Wilson. Also, I greatly enjoyed The Garcia Brothers video. Thank you!
    My copy of "That Kat Sure Could Play" arrived yesterday. I had to order it from the UK. Thanks again for the heads up on that one. it's excellent.

  5. one of my all times faves, but I reckon you know that already!

  6. Great track.

    ...but no love for Mickey and The Soul Generation?they're from San Antonio...

  7. Jem...Glad you like. That comp is great, does a great service in gathering all those tracks together as well. I wouldn't think many have seen the update I wrote about the Starr's 45. A friend traced the run-out code and it proves the record doesn't fit within the comps time frame. It was pressed in December 1960.

    Derek...I wouldn't be at all surprised if I heard it first on your blog.

    Perrata....uhmm yeah, I totally forgot about Mickey & The Soul Generation. Just goes to show there are a hundred exceptions to every ill-formulated generalization. Btw, I loved the design for the temporary classroom. Hope you managed to raise the funds???

  8. Pretty cool. Is this the Sunny who sang a version of "Talk to Me?" That organ playing echoes Sir Douglas Quintet a little.

  9. Jon...It is indeed the same Sunny. His version was a bigger hit than Little Willie John's original. The farfisa is usually considered as a stand-in for the traditional accordion on a number of tunes. Last time I was in San Antonio, I heard a great version of "Wooly Bully" played on traditional instruments....accordion, basso sexto, quinta.

  10. That would be great to hear, although I can't imagine anybody topping Sam the Sham.

  11. Two questions. Where can I find some Garcia bros music? Who were their tailors so I can get a zoot suit?

  12. snakeboy...I'm really only a fan of the cumbia tunes. When Tejano bands stick to the polka I start getting sleepy. Although I will say, it's a major hoot to hear the traditional stuff at large gatherings where everyone dances in a large counter clockwise moving circle. Totally sweet, all generations moving together.

    Sorry, can't help you with the suit...but Garcia Bros Cds are available through Amazon. They're Grammy winners.

    Btw, a friend tells me the style is called Nuevo Pachuco, and another band to look for are Da Crazy Pimpz, also from Eagle Pass, Texas.