Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Pianist Shep Devereaux

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.

Hollywood, Dec. 23, 1958. Singing cowboy Gene Autry‘s Challenge Records signed hard-drinking rockabilly singer/piano-player Shep Devereaux to produce four sides. Devereaux, originally from New Orleans, booked the Flores Trio (Danny Flores on saxophone and keyboards, Gene Alden on drums, and lead guitarist Buddy Bruce) to back him up. They recorded three rockabilly numbers and an up-tempo mostly-instrumental track composed by Flores, a song jokingly called “Chingate.” The song’s lyrics consisted of just that one cussword, repeated three times and featured a blistering sax solo by Flores.

When Autry, in the control room, heard “Chingate” he knew it was a hit, but realized the name had to change, so he asked for suggestions for three-syllable phrases from the band.

“Horchata!” “Tu madre!” “Pendejo!” The musicians were full of ideas.

Mas…Unsung Heroes of Hispanic Heritage Month: Pianist Shep Devereaux

Me? Today I’m drinking a cerveza and contemplating Cinco de Mayo

I approach el Cinco de Mayo with excitement and ambivalence.

I learned the history of the Battle of Puebla as the son of proud Mexicans, who happened to be immigrants. The story goes: On the fifth of May 1862, a small Mexican army kicks French butt. Bueno.

My dad and grandmother worked at the Cinco de Mayo restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in a small L.A. harbor town. My association with the day is food, drink, familia, history, cultura.

Mas…Me? Today I’m drinking a cerveza and contemplating Cinco de Mayo

In 1959, this country singer just loved ‘Tiquela & Mexican Beer’ (video)

bryanrecord45In 1959, country singer Larry Bryant released a 45 celebrating his love of Tiquela & Mexican Beer. Music trade magazine Billboard called it “interesting” — not a good sign — and the record never made much of a splash.

But the original 45 (#101 — the first release?) on Santa Fe Records is a $25 collector’s item these days, so Bryant and friends were validated over 50 years later.

And even though his speeling is owlfull, we’re 100% in agreement with Larry’s high opinion of the aforementioned beverages, as well as his love for Mexican señoritas, tacos, tortillas and beans.

Mas…In 1959, this country singer just loved ‘Tiquela & Mexican Beer’ (video)

Taco Tuesday + Cinco de Mayo = Drunk Tacos + Fresh Guac!

drunktacosHow many times does Cinco de Mayo also fall on Taco Tuesday? Our guess is 14% of the time or 1/7th but math is hard, amiright?

But the odds are with us today (the Fourth Was With Us yesterday, and with you) so let’s get loqui with two of our favorite thematically-appropriate videos — Tacos by My Drunk Kitchen and Fresh Guacamole. Are you ready? Remember, kids don’t try these at home!

Mas…Taco Tuesday + Cinco de Mayo = Drunk Tacos + Fresh Guac!

Me? I’m drinking a cerveza and contemplating Cinco de Mayo

I approach el Cinco de Mayo with excitement and ambivalence.

I learned the history of the Battle of Puebla as the son of proud Mexicans, who happened to be immigrants. The story goes: On the fifth of May 1862, a small Mexican army kicks French butt. Bueno.

My dad and grandmother worked at the Cinco de Mayo restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in a small L.A. harbor town. My association with the day is food, drink, familia, history, cultura.

Mas…Me? I’m drinking a cerveza and contemplating Cinco de Mayo