In 1964, East Los Angeles pochos The Blendells had a hit with a Latin-tinged cover of Stevie Wonder’s La La La La La.

The country music legend Jim Reeves had a lot of big records, but we like this “half-fast” April 16, 1964 live-in-Norway version of his hit Adios Amigo. He died later that year behind the controls of a small plane that crashed in Tennessee during a violent thunderstorm. He was 40 years old.

They were ordinary people living ordinary lives, until one singular sensation of circumstance conspired with fate to make them UNSUNG HEROES OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH.

When Michigan Gov. George Romney‘s GOP presidential nomination campaign came to the New York World’s Fair in 1964 (photo, left, with son Mitt) an intense young wannabe TV reporter named Gerry Riviera was on the scene.

The nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn was confused after his college experience at the University of Arizona. He had been strangely at home in the desert Southwest, but was still a gefilte fish out of water. What to do with his life?

“I was born to American parents in Mexico,” Romney told reporters as he toured the crumbling, deeply-indebted Spanish Pavilion. “In some ways, it would be helpful to be Latino.” Son Mitt nodded his head in agreement. [Mas…]