Chris Montez grew up in Hawthorne, California, influenced by the Latino-flavored music of his family and community and the success of Ritchie Valens. In 1962, he recorded the single "Let's Dance" on Monogram Records, which went to No.4 on the Billboard chart – now new listeners are getting turned on to the tune, currently in a DSW Shoes TV spot.
The follow-up, "Some Kinda Fun," was a lesser hit in the U.S.; both records sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs. Montez toured with Clyde McPhatter, Sam Cooke, The Platters, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Beatles opened London, York and Northampton concerts for him while performing with Tommy Roe. Montez commented, "Who are these guys The Beatles? I try to keep up with the British scene, but I don't know their work."
Montez returned to the recording studio in 1965, this time at A&M Records. Montez was searching for the same rock and roll formula that would replicate the success of "Let's Dance." During a recording session, A&M co-founder and co-producer Herb Alpert suggested that Montez try a different approach: a middle of the road, soft ballad sound. Though reluctant at first, Montez agreed to go along with his mentor's suggestion. "Call Me" was the first single released from his 1966 A&M album, The More I See You. The title song became enormously popular and has been used in many movies, notably Frantic, starring Harrison Ford.
Montez continued recording a stream of hits outside the US, performing Chicano rock n' roll heavily influenced by black R&B, paving the way for acts like Los Lobos. His devoted fans have never waned, and highly respected label Norton Records re-issued two albums of his greatest songs.
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