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thee_midniters_live_2LUMPENPROLETARIAT—The legendary Midniters from Califaztlan.

Thee Midniters were an East L.A. band. Willie Garcia, a.k.a. “Little Willie G.”, was/is the lead singer.

“Willie G. was one of the most soulful Latin persons I ever heard,” said the singer Brenton Wood.

Check out this broadcast recorded before a live audience, breakin’ down some Midniters history.  “Little” Willie G talks about their first gig back in 1962 and how Thee Midniters were the first American band to buy Vox equipment, “to the delight of The Beatles.”  My only complaint is how nice all of the instruments and vocals sound with slick modern equipment.  Y’know’I’mean?  Shitty is pretty. [1]  I like them old school durty wreckids, like “Hypnotize” by Linda Jones (1944-1972):

Messina

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Chicano Power” by Thee Midniters

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Making Ends Meet” by Thee Midniters

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Dreaming Casually” by Thee Midniters

Once in a while,
Just once in a while,
I wish you would come up to me
And tell me what you’d like to be
Would you like to be rich and famous?
I’m sure no one else could blame us
For dreaming casually
Once in a while,
Just once in a while
If we let our cares just drift into space
We can always find the time and the place
It may be Saturn, or it may be Mars,
The both of us just searching the stars
Just dreamin’ casually
There’s many times, we try to analyse just what the future’s made of
And, as the minutes pass, I stare into the looking glass
What do I see, lord?
It can’t be me
Growing old, so, gracefully
But still the world goes ’round
And though how hard I try
It keeps leavin’ me behind
Someday, soon, I know
We’ll all have to go
So, dreamin’ can’t be that much of a crime
 Once in a while,
Just once in a while,
If we’d all forget about the past
Many more days ahead, much more to last
I’ve been told before the end is nearin’
But, nevertheless, I can’t go on fearin’
When I’m dreaming casually
Once in a while,
Just once in a while,
Once in a while,
Just once in a while…

“Dreaming Casually”, Songwriters (Tormid Music, perhaps): William Garcia, Jose L. Rendon

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The Town I Live In” interpreted by Thee Midniters [1]

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The Town I Live In” by McKinley Mitchell

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THEE MIDNITERS—Thee Midniters were an American group, amongst the first Chicano rock bands to have a major hit in the United States.  Thee Midniters were also one of the best known acts to come out of East Los Angeles in the 1960s, with a cover of “Land of a Thousand Dances“, and the instrumental track, “Whittier Boulevard” in 1965. They were amongst the first rock acts to openly sing about Chicano themes in songs such as “Chicano Power” and “The Ballad of César Chávez” in the late 1960s.

The band was promoted by Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg on local radio station KTYM, Inglewood and by his fill-in Godfrey [Godfrey Kerr]. Huggy Boy was later the most popular DJ on KRLA.

Learn more about THEE MIDNITERS.

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That’s All” interpreted by Thee Midniters

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That’s All” (1957) by Nat King Cole

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Giving Up On Love” interpreted by Thee Midniters

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Giving Up On Love” by Jerry Butler

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[1]  It sounds too bright to me.  I guess I like the particular tonalities achieved on the old school records.  They achieved some amazing aural textures, despite the old school recording equipment.  I rather agree with Gabriel Roth, and have done since middle school, waaayy before hearing about Gabriel Roth or the Dap-Kings or Daptone Records or the Menahan Street Band or the Budos Band; shitty is pretty.  This is the name of a series of intelligently presented arguments presented by Gabriel Roth for the beauty of the particular musical production back in the late ’60s/early ’70s.

Shitty Is Pretty began in order to uphold the cherished tenets of its funk constitution, Gabriel Roth’s Shitty Is Pretty: Anatomy of a Heavy Funk 45. The constitution’s original documents are available here:

Shitty Is Pretty: Anatomy of a Heavy Funk 45 by Gabriel Roth

There are many beautiful animals in the forest, but none is quite as ferocious as the mighty Heavy Funk 45. In the interest of preserving this rare and endangered species, I have written this step-by-step guide of how to produce your own. This is by no means a foolproof formula for success (if you are an utter fool you will unfortunately still be an utter fool after reading this). However, when used in combination with good taste and a little giblet gravy, this guide will give you the basic tools to produce a highly potent Funk 45.

The first thing to understand is that if you are trying to make a Heavy Funk 45, you are NOT trying to make a “professional” record by today’s standards. Funk 45s are rough because they were made rough. They were made in basements or garages or lo-fi studios by bands that played barbecues on Saturday afternoons. Many people come at Funk with this bullshit acid-jazz, smooth R&B method. Everything comes out all clean and happy and nice. They call it professionalism. I call it bullshit. If you’re going to try to record Funk, you got to have enough balls to make it rough. Fuck what the radio station says. Fuck how smart you are and how fancy your ideas are. If you’re gonna come rough, COME ROUGH.

Learn more at SHITTY IS PRETTY.

[2]  Video features footage from the classic 1979 film Boulevard Nights.

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[Last modified 14:58 PDT  1 JAN 2016 ]

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