El Chicano

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For other uses, see Carlos Cotto.

El Chicano is an American chicano rock and brown-eyed soul group from Los Angeles, California, whose style incorporates various modern music genres including rock, funk, soul, blues, jazz, and salsa. The group's name is from Chicano, a term for United States citizens of typically Mexican American descent.[1]


El Chicano, originally formed by Freddie Sanchez under the name The VIP's arose during a period of increasing Chicano consciousness in America. Their initial hit, Viva Tirado, was a jazzy soul rock rendition of Gerald Wilson's original song about a bullfighter. The song did very well on Los Angeles radio and remained #1 for thirteen straight weeks. Other notable tracks recorded by El Chicano are the funky Tell Her She's Lovely as well as a cover of Van Morrison's 1967 hit, Brown Eyed Girl.

Original members of El Chicano include Bobby Espinosa, Freddie Sanchez, Mickey Lespron, Andre Baeza, and John De Luna. Ersi Arvisu was lead singer. During the 1970s, new members Rudy Regalado, Max Garduno, Danny Lamonte, Brian Magness, Jerry Salas, Joe Pererria. joined the group.[1]

On their 1970 albumViva Tirado the group covered the Herbie Hancock jazz standard "Cantaloupe Island". The song was one of nine songs which included the hit single "Viva Tirado" which went gold.

El Chicano continues to be active with a combination of original and new members. They performed on the 2009 PBS pledge break special, Trini Lopez Presents the Legends of Latin Rock, along with Thee Midniters, Tierra, and Gregg Rolie (of Santana and Journey fame).[1]

Original keyboardist, Bobby Espinosa ‒ who laid down Hammond organ on some of El Chicano's most recognizable tracks ‒ died on February 27, 2010.[2] Former percussionist, Rudy Regalado, who spent twelve years with the band died on November 4, 2010.[3] Latin percussionist of former Santana renown,[4] Walfredo Reyes, Jr., recorded with the band from 2010 to 2012,[5] and is currently performing with the band Chicago.



  • Viva Tirado (Parts 1 & 2) (1970) US #28[6]
  • Cubano Chant b/w Viva La Raza (1971)
  • Brown Eyed Girl (1972) US #45
  • Tell Her She's Lovely (1973) US #40[1][6]


  • Viva Tirado (Kapp Records) (1970)
  • Revolucion (1971)
  • Celebration (1972)
  • El Chicano (1973)
  • Cinco (1974)
  • The Best of Everything (1975)
  • Pyramid (1976)
  • This is El Chicano (1977)
  • Viva El Chicano! - Their Very Best (1988)
  • Chicano Chant (1997 Reissue)
  • This is El Chicano 1998 (Reissue)
  • Painting the Moment (1998)
  • Latin Legends Live (1998)
  • Masters Collection (2004)[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "ElChicanoMusic.com". 
  2. ^ CRN-live.com El Chicano band member joins elite group in Rock and Roll Heaven
  3. ^ WorldMusicCentral.com – Latin-rock timbalero Rudy Regalado dies at 67
  4. ^ Santana: Sacred Fire, Live in Mexico (DVD video). Island Def Jam Music Group. 1993. OCLC 47982489. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Walfredo Reyes Jr.: Photos". Walfredo Reyes, Jr. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. 7th edn, 2000