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Johnny Chingas

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Biography

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Raul Garcia, better known as Johnny Chingas came to the United States when he was a child and began playing music in junior high school. He played a variety of instruments, including saxophone, piano, bass and vibraphone. After graduation from Glendale’s Hoover High School in 1956, Garcia formed Rudy Garcia & the Imperials, which recorded many Latin and rock ‘n’ roll singles on Garcia’s own label, Katinga Records.

Later, Garcia renamed his label Billionaire Records and wrote and produced his own material. He recorded about a dozen albums and toured the Southwest, Central and South America and Europe.

There isn’t much information on him in the internet other an excerpt from a Don Snowden story that was published in the Los Angeles Times on 3/1/1985:

Nobody needs to tell Jonny Chingas about the difficulties of the do-it-yourself approach to pop music. The singer/saxophonist/keyboardist, who brings his eight-piece band to the Lingerie tonight, has been acting as a one-man record company during his seven-year campaign to break into the pop mainstream.

“I’m trying to follow the American dream,” he said in his San Fernando Valley home. “I’m not going crooked. I’m not into drugs or cheating anybody. I’m struggling and I don’t have enough capital to work with, but I’m still going forward.

“I’m just trying to make it and if nobody can help me, I have the determination to do it myself. I don’t care if I have to press the records myself or sell them at the swap meets.”

Raul Garza passed away in March of 1992 due to complications of diabetes at the age of 52.

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