LittleJulian-CalypsoInn-GilRocha

This piece, about the “Chicano Jewish bigfoot,” won radio documentary of the year in the 2013 National Entertainment Journalism Awards.

LISTEN AT KCRW

Talk to a musician, a record collector, or a fan of East LA music of the 50s and 60s, and before long they'll bring up Little Julian Herrera. He's a mysterious and legendary part of East LA's musical history. He was the first Chicano R&B heartthrob, until one day he just disappeared. Some say he's still alive out there somewhere, and they're looking for him.

 

Archived comments no longer visible on KCRW's website below.

NOTE: My research on Little Julian Herrera is the most comprehensive I know of, anywhere. If you are researching him and are interested in seeing the full transcript of interviews beyond what was published in this story (there is much more), please contact me.

 

 

KCRW site comments (no longer visible on the site)

 

blanchedeveraux @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

This was a very interesting story, but I have to say that based on his deceptions, crimes, and sub-par singing voice I don't understand why anyone cares so much about finding him.

Guest @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Notice on the ticket how it says "Closed Circuit Telecast." That was a screening of a recording of the Beatles' performance in Washington D.C. on February 11, 1964.

SMILEY @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Orale, didn't mean to get you panties all twisted up! "Still remember,still remember, I still remember, when I first met her" Yea,Yea Julian. We remember' you member!

Ben @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

25 weeks ago · 0 replies · 0 points

Sorry it's not what you wanted to hear, but some stories are not always appealing.

Teodoro Estebanez @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Shut the fuck up.

hlk @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

I find it extremely disturbing that his conviction of forcible rape is a "side note", along with his lying and repeatedly representing himself with false identities, preying on families that would take him in based upon his lies. Meanwhile this story seems to glorify him, and create some sort of mystical phenomena legend, about someone who is a rapist and a criminal. Are there not more important figures in life to try and research? I am quite shocked at the reporter's excitement in retelling this tale of this singer/rapist in such an excited fashion...it was very creepy to listen to, especially having to listen to his singing after learning all this. Seems our culture never tires of idolizing celebrities to the point of overlooking their criminal behavior, no matter their generation.

I expect more from KCRW in reporting. Glorifying a charlatan and rapist? For the sake of desperation to create (the facade of) an art story? There are plenty of historical figures and current figures worthy of discussion without resorting to creating a story about a criminal bum who happened to also like to sing. This story reminds me of women who fall in love with convicted felons in prison and write the letters and want to marry them.....

Ben @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Nice jams. Symbol of heaven, in exchange for your arms, but I remember Linda, yea, bet he does !

Ben @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Who knows how many times the story will be told. Glad it wasn't my daughter.

glennat @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Wondering how many times this story will be replayed. I think this is at LEAST the 4th time I've heard it?

Robert Fierro @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

No No! The Beatles Played in San Diego and at the Hollywood Bowl! I was there.. BUT what the cool story is is the "Cannibal and The HeadHunters" Played Both those gigs with the Beatles. Now that would be a cool story! That was a great story about Julian Herrera on KCRW!

SMILEY @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Oh,forgot to mention. Apparently Little Julian Herrera was not chicano/latino, he was middle eastern. But back then a producer would change a name to make it more appealing.

Smiley @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

We'll, Pops Grew up in the 50's and use to go to the El Monte legion stadium often. He said soon after after lLittle Julian Herrera recorded "I remember Linda" He soon dId some time for raping a girl named Linda. When he got out, he gained a tremendous amount of weight and never saw him again. Possibly thats the reason he never showed his face again?

Bob Carlson @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

A little tongue in cheek yes.

Chris Morris @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

To Bob Carlson: I hope you were being ironic in your post above, but I'll send this along anyway. The ticket for the Beatles' "concert" at El Monte Legion Stadium you posted above is obviously not for a concert -- the tip-off is the line at the top of the ticket: "CLOSED CIRCUIT TELECAST." From the look of things, that show was actually an airing of a pre-recorded Beatles concert. Such events -- which broadcast music shows, prize fights, etc. -- were gaining currency in that era. Maybe one of the KCRW staff missed the not-so-fine print, thus leading to the misinformation in the story.

One way or the other, the Beatles did not appear at El Monte Legion on March 14, 1964. According to Mark Lewisohn's day-to-day "The Beatles Chronicle," the group was at Twickenham Studios in England that week, shooting "A Hard Day's Night." So on this point, the story is wrong. Good to hear my friend Gene Aguilera holding forth on his favorite musical phantom, though, so thanks for the piece.

juan @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

little julian herrera was a gifted man,woooow i love his records,my favorite one ,YOUR CARELESS LOVE emmo records,a killer tune.

Cee Kay @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

I listen to every UnFictional espisode and Little Julian's Secret is one of my favorites, if not my favorite.

Markvs @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

You should apologize.

Bob Carlson @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Hi Paul

Here's the info:

Song: Halo Halo

Artist: Palov & Mishkin

Album: Think Twice

Paul @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Hey Bob, what is that music playing between 3:10 and 4:10 during the show?

jeff wilson @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Me and my best Chicano friend Ray Luna used to dance to these tunes back in the late 50's in Michigan and then we moved West as teens. He lived in El Monte and me in Tucson. These were the best of times.....Ray is gone now: Danzon my pachucho friend. I met Don Tosti 'El Tostino' and Lalo Guerro later in PS. where we retired in later life.

susan @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Great story, thank you Alex!

JayElle @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

I am a white, Jewish girl who owned Lonely Nights by Little Julian Herrera as part of my 45 collection. I used to slow-dance Chicano (maybe pachuco) style to that record with Bobby Rodriguez, my best friend's brother, at Palms Jr. High school, at parties in my home in Cheviot Hills and at the Rodriguez home in the Mar Vista projects. At night after my parents went to sleep, I would secretly listen to the Johnny Otis show on the radio like some kind of guilty pleasure for an 11-year-old A student. Thank you, KCRW, Bob Carlsen and Alex Schmidt for a great trip back in time and fabulous story.

PS: The Beatles, Leslie Gore, The Beach Boys at El Monte Stadium. WOW! Be there or be square!

Martha SanchezQ @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

This story kept me engaged! I loved the off beat topic, and the inclusion of history throughout different cultures and genres... Keep up the great work!

Ruben Dario @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

What a movie this story would make. Thanks.

Connie @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Great job! I was glues to my phone (on my desk at work)! And I'm not just saying that because I work here.

DMarie @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Just glued to the radio......another park, sit and listen story.....Thanks!!!

J. Todd Harris @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Agree - fascinating story.

Melissa M. @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

One of the many reasons I love KCRW. Thank you!

Veronica Gonzalez @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

I loved this story! Thank you! - Veronica Gonzalez - The Element Marketing & Publicity

GioMiCorazon @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Great Story!

RosieM @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

fantastic story!

Bob Carlson @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

Yes it's true! I got you a ticket...

http://images.topix.com/gallery/up-NKVJKIK8SNF58B...

prefabfan @ unfictional - Little Julian's Secre...

The Beatles played El Monte Legion Stadium? Oh yeah, I was there!! They had the Archies and Milli Vanilli open for them. PLEASE, better research.