Thee Midniters 


As the best of the '60s Latino rock bands, it's amazing that Thee Midniters' original sides are only now debuting on CD. The band's minor 1965 chart success with "Land of a Thousand Dances" (quickly eclipsed by fellow East Los Angelenos, Cannibal and the Headhunters, and replaced in the public consciousness by Wilson Pickett's version the following year) barely scratched the surface of their talent.

Equally influenced by '50s doo-wop and R&B and mid-'60s rock, soul, and jazz, Thee Midniters waxed an impressive array of covers and originals, ranging from ballad standards like "That's All" (famously sung by Nat "King" Cole) to blistering renditions of the Rolling Stones' "Empty Heart" and "2120 South Michigan Avenue" (loosely relocated to "Whittier Blvd.") and socially conscious originals such as "Chicano Power."

The band's mix of guitars, organ, and horns was built on a rhythm section that laid down wickedly propulsive basslines and stomping backbeats. Lead vocalist Little Willie G. sang everything from downtempo covers of Jerry Butler ballads and Philly-sound originals to punky covers of Solomon Burke and grade-A garage rockers, such as "Love Special Delivery." The band also wrote Mitch Ryder-styled blues-rock and covered Chicago R&B with equal aplomb.

This twenty-track collection of slow dances and sweat-drenched rave-ups is not only a fine overview of the band's output, it's a stellar party soundtrack, perfect for dancing the East LA favorite, the Slauson!


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

  • Samantha Crain

    The Confiscation
    • Jul 16, 2008
  • Arthur Lyman

    Bwana A/Bahia, On Broadway/The Colorful Percussions, Many Moods of Arthur Lyman/Love for Sale, Cotton Fields/Blowin' in the Wind, Isle of Enchantment/Polynesia, Lyman '66/The Shadow of Your Smile, Ilikai/At the Port of Los Angeles, Latitude 20/Aphrodisia
    • May 28, 2008
  • More»

Most Popular Stories

  • The Wolf Pack

    Kevin Allen formed Grand Nationxl to showcase the talent, growth and maturity of the East Bay's veteran rap scene
  • Fed Up

    Mansion's former lead singer channels frustration into new band Body Double

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay


© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation