The Royal Jesters, Henry and the Kasuals, Rudy and his Reno Bops, Sonny and the Sunliners, these are just a few of the many bands that defined a genre known as Chicano Soul or the West Side Sound. Mixing Doo-Wop with horns and Soul, the music filled the dance halls, garages, and households of San Antonio's West Side through the 60s and 70s.
We spoke about the phenomena in early November with some professional appreciators, writer and documentarian Joe Nick Patoski, NPR Music Critic Ed Ward, as well as DJ and owner of El Westside Sound System Jason Longoria.
A deluge of callers followed with people filling the airwaves with their remembrances. High school dances, relatives of musicians talking about hearing them rehearse, and some of the original players like Sauce Gonzales and Henry "Pepsi" Pena also called in. You can listen to that conversation here.
If the conversation makes you thirsty for more, see the below playlist, and if you want to find it in San Antonio go to the Pueblo Hall or at San Antonio Soul to find shows and live DJ sets. Finally, the upcoming Pation Andaluz Reunion being put on by Henry Pena will host many of these musicians on February 21st at the Tobin.
TPR Web Editor Tricia Schweneson compiled the below songs to get you going:
1. Doug Sahm - "Why Why Why" (Westside sound classic)
2. Sonny Ace & the Twisters - "Fever" (Little Willie John r&b cover done with a Chicano twist)
3. Little Henry & the Laveers - "Whip It On Me" (Jessie Hill cover)
4. Sunny & the Sunliners - "Smile Now, Cry Later" (Northern soul crossover written by Sunny Ozuna)
5. Henry & the Kasuals - "Workout" ('60s mod instrumental)