April 09, 2013

The Sentinals - Latin'ia (1962)

Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the city of San Luis Obispo, this group (sometimes misspelled as The Sentinels) was formed in 1961. Although not one of the original surfing groups (like Dick Dale & the Del-Tones or The Ventures), this band had one big hit which sent them on a nationwide tour. Although they never managed to achieve a second success, each of the band’s members went on to varying degrees of success in other musical outfits, the biggest of which was drummer Johny Barbata, who would play in The Turtles; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and Jefferson Starship. After they were through recording together for the last time, but before the band officially broke up in 1965, they had picked up keyboard player Michael Olsen. Olsen would later change his name to Lee Michaels and have the 1971 hit song “Do You Know What I Mean.”

Written by band members Tommy Nunes and Mark Hilder, this instrumental surf song was inspired after band members had heard “Walk, Don’t Run” by The Ventures. In those early years of the 1960s, “surf” music had not yet been labeled “surf.” It was referred to by many different names, one of them being “twist music for surfers” by the local Tribune newspaper. The release of this song, pronounced "La•teen•ya," was met with a very positive local feedback, enough of which to take the song to number one locally and lead the band on a nationwide tour with The Coasters and The Righteous Brothers. That tour took the band all the way to Buffalo, New York.

album art

The Sentinals - Latin'ia (1962)

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1 comment:

  1. I can't believe this is 1962. The style seems so much more modern!