Chris Montez


Chris Montez
Chris Montez
Birth name Ezekiel Christopher Montanez
Born 17 January 1943 (1943-01-17) (age 68)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Rock, standards
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1962–present
Labels A&M, Monogram, Columbia
Website Official website

Chris Montez (born Ezekiel Christopher Montanez on 17 January 1943), is an American singer.

Contents

Early life

Montez grew up in Hawthorne, California, influenced by the Latino-flavored music of his community and the success of Ritchie Valens.

In 1962, he recorded the single "Let's Dance" on Monogram Records (written and produced by Jim Lee).[1] It went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. and to #2 on the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up, "Some Kinda Fun", was a lesser hit. However, both records sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs.[2]

Montez toured with Clyde McPhatter, Sam Cooke, The Platters, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles,[3] and The Beatles opened London York and Northampton concerts for him while performing with Tommy Roe.[3][4] Montez commented "Who are these guys The Beatles? I try to keep up with the British scene, but I don't know their work".[4]

1966 comeback

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 Herb Alpert (who co-produced Montez's first A&M album) 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" (a Tony Hatch composition first recorded by Petula Clark) was the first single released from his 1966 A&M album, The More I See You. The title single from the album, sung in a soft, very high tenor range and played on primarily adult-formatted radio stations, confused some disc jockeys, who were unfamiliar with Montez's past work. The song became enourmasly popular and has been used many times in movies, notably Frantic, starring Harrison Ford. When announcing the song, the DJs would often refer to Montez as a female.[citation needed] But by the time the album was released, Montez's pictures on the front and back of the jacket cleared up any mystery surrounding his sex, as explained in the album's notes on the back of the record jacket.

Released in November 1965, "Call Me" entered the Easy Listening Top 40 in Billboard that December, entering the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1966; that March "Call Me" peaked on the Easy Listening chart at #2 and on the Hot 100 at #22.

The More I See You album yielded two additional Top 40 singles for Montez: The title cut, plus "There Will Never Be Another You".

Later years

Montez recorded three more albums for A&M: Time After Time, Foolin' Around, and Watch What Happens. None of these albums mirrored the success of The More I See You. The title cut "Time After Time", did reach #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, but no other singles made the top 40. Subsequent singles hit below the top 40, or only on the Billboard Easy Listening Top 40. Following the release of Watch What Happens in 1968, Montez left A&M Records.

In November 1972, Montez charted a Latin hit in Brazil: "Loco por ti (Crazy About You)".[citation needed]

Montez resurfaced in 1974 at CBS Records, with the release of a new LP, The Best of Chris Montez, a mix of both old and new recordings.

Montez recorded one more album for CBS: Raza: Ay No Digas, which did well internationally, but failed to make an impact in the US His final album, with exclusively Spanish-language material, was Cartas de Amor, released on the independent label AYM in 1983.

Montez today

Most of his American appearances in 2007 were in Branson, Missouri.

In July 2008, Frozen Pictures announced plans to produce a documentary musical film on Montez's life and career. "'Chris Montez is an incredibly influential musician whose life and music have touched on every major thread in rock ‘n' roll, from Latino rock to R&B, Sixties pop to lounge, surf to punk,' said Burt Kearns, who writes, produces or directs all of Frozen's projects with Brett Hudson. 'His story is epic.'" The film, "El Viaje Musical de Ezekiel Montanez: The Chris Montez Story," is currently in production, and was previewed by Montez, Hudson and Kearns at the Paso Robles Digital Film Festival in Paso Robles, California in November 2009, The Fest for Beatles Fans in March 2010 in Secaucus, New Jersey [5] and in May 2010 at the Pacific Palisades Film Festival in Pacific Palisades, California.[6][7]

Montez continues to perform throughout the US and internationally. His inspirational speaking-performance tour was launched in 2011 from California by Latino Speakers Bureau under the Best Keynotes portfolio.[8][9]

Chart singles

  • "Let's Dance" (1962) #4 U.S., #2 UK
  • "Some Kinda Fun" (1963) #43 US, #10 UK
  • "Call Me" (1966) #22 US, #2 US AC
  • "The More I See You" (1966) #16 US, #2 US AC., #3 UK
  • "There Will Never Be Another You" (1966) #33 US, #4 US AC., #37 UK
  • "Time After Time" (1966) #36 US, #12 US AC
  • "Because of You" (1967) #71 US, #25 US AC
  • "The Face I Love" (1968) #15 US AC
  • "Love Is Here To Stay" (1968) #38 US AC
  • "Loco Por Ti" (1972) #7 NL (Top 40 Netherlands)
  • "Ay No Digas" (1973) #3 NL

References

  1. ^ http://www.chrismontez.com/pages/discography_fr.html
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 149. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ a b "Welcome to the Official Chris Montez website"
  4. ^ a b Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopaedia (2000 paperback edition; first published 1992). London: Virgin Publishing, London W6 9HA. pp. 9 and 776. ISBN 0 7535 0481 2. 
  5. ^ The Fest for Beatles Fans Retrieved 20 February 2010
  6. ^ The Palisadian-Post
  7. ^ "Chris Montez's triumph at the Pacific Palisades Film Festival"
  8. ^ "Unique Latinos: The Chris Montez Story"
  9. ^ "The Chris Montez Story"

External links


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