Chan Romero

I have been reading a few blogs about the adventures of record bin diving and just finished a blog of my own about a Kijiji box of musical memories. Today, December 1, 2020, I stopped in a local thrift store and flipped through the record bins with a few little gems as my listening reward. 

First up was “The Rascals Greatest Hits“, I admit that I was never their biggest fan, but I will give credit where credit is due, after all, they have enough traction to put out a greatest hits album, and I haven’t even recorded my first 45 rpm. This album has a few pop numbers that I could tap my foot along with, not a goto album but a pleasant listen just the same. 

My second find was a Various Artists release called 24 Original Happening Hits By Original Artists. This record has way too many great songs to list item by item.

A few highlights for me would be:

“In The Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett and “Light My Fire” by The Doors, this was a bit of a left-field selection. One does not see The Doors on these budget labels very often. By the way, this is on the Syndicate Product label which eventually became K-Tel

The third album is a fascinating find. It is an LP by a fellow named Chan Romero.

Chan Romero etched his name forever in the history of music for his recording of the well know hit, “Hippy Hippy Shake“. That was in July of 1959 and the song snowballed and gained some attention that included The Beatles amongst its admirers. Over the years the song has been re-recorded by numerous artists and has been showcased in movies. Chan Romero then stepped out of the limelight of Rock and Roll music and settled with his wife LaVerne Romero. They presently live in Cathedral City, California and are the proud parents of 11 children and 30 grandchildren.

Someplace along Chan Romero’s life journey, he became a Christian, and this album is a gospel recording. I could find no information on the internet of things about the recording, so I assume it was a low budget production that did not get released commercially. I entered the Discogs listing for this album which is an indication of how little it has circulated. The music and singing are quite good, and I enjoyed listening to it.

The other thing that made this record so interesting is the cover. It has an 8X10 glossy that can be removed and framed, I have had thousands upon thousands of records pass through my hands over the years, but I have never seen a frame-able glossy on the front cover. Fortunately, no one tried to remove this one and other than a few nicks and minor tears it is by and large intact. Chan Romero has been inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

As a footnote at the bottom of this blog, I also bought a CD from the same thrift store. My Head Is An Animal by Of Monsters and Men. I already had a copy of this on CD, but this one has an alternate cover, so I shilled out two bucks for it, it is an enjoyable listen as well, so I count it money well spent. 

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