Almost Famous Rock and Roll Artists

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Del-Fi 4119



14 year old, Chan Romero caught sight of Elvis…that night…July 1, 1956…on The Steve Allen Show.

To this day Chan will tell you…the world stopped…and shook…and he heard the Calling At 16…he

hitchhiked from his home…in Billings, Montana to East Los Angeles.


An uncle in LA…introduced him to the A&R man at Speciality Records—then known for recordings by  Little

Richard, Lloyd Price and Larry “Short Fat Fannie” Williams.  That A&R man was…Sonny Bono who told the

kid…tighten it up… and come back.


Uncle instead shipped him back to Billings…to finish his schooling.  Two months after the crash that killed

Richie Vallens…Billings, Montana DJ Don Redfield….sent a tape of Chan to Del-fi Records…Richie Vallens

label.  The man behind the label was ex-band leader, and talent finder who had discovered Sam

Cooke…and later Bobby Fuller…His name…Bob Keane.


Noting the similarities in the voices of Valens and Romero, Keane sent air fare for Chan to come and cut

something for Del-Fi.  That something—using the same musicians that accompanied Richie Valens on “La

Bamba” and “Donna”…and the rest backed up Chan…on his creation… the  “Hippy, Hippy Shake.”

There was no reference intented to point to long haired people with peace signs.  Their time was yet to be.

The referent was obvious…young ladies with curvy tushs.


While the record was causing some action on some Europeon charts…Chan got the invite to live with Richie

Valens family; remaining there for months…a relationship he still holds dear.  Paul McCartney loved the

tune…and sang it at the Cavern Club…and the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany.  The Beatle recording on

the now classic can be heard on the CD package Live At the BBC.


Fellow Liverpool Beat groupers, the Swinging Blue Jeans went top 40 in the US with their “Hippy Hippy”

take…5 years after Chan original release.  The tune was soon taking on a new meaning, with the Summer of

Love happening.


The classic track has been used in a number of films:  Uncle BuckIt Takes Two…and Austin Powers: 

International Man of Mystery.   The Georgia Satellites..One-Hit Wonders for “Keep Your Hands To Your

Self” reworked it for the Tom Cruise flick…Cocktail.


Chan got the shot and had several other 45s issued.  Not a one charted in the US. He continues to exist with

his family, in Cathederal City, California. Hopefully, he got some of that money the tune has generated.

After 4 decades, Chan packaged a new CD titled:  Right Track.

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