Category Archives: Discovery

The Cosmic Tones

The Cosmic Tones photo: Morris Ochoa, Vincent Hernandez, David Silva, Terry Williams and (kneeling) Alex Hernandez
The Cosmic Tones, from left: Morris Ochoa, Vincent Hernandez, David Silva, Terry Williams and (kneeling) Alex Hernandez

The Cosmic Tones came out of Bell Gardens, CA, the same town as the Nite Walkers. They cut one single for the Discovery label, “Gonna Build Me a Woman” / “Hold It”. Discovery later released a cool single by the Missing Links. Like the Missing Links, publishing was through Jarhill Pub. Co, (an amalgam R. Jarrard and James Hilton, who are credited on the Missing Links single).

Members of the Cosmic Tones were:

David Silva – lead guitar
Morris Ochoa – rhythm guitar
Terry Williams – rhythm guitar
Alex Hernandez – bass guitar
Vincent Hernandez – drums

Bass player Alex Hernandez sent me a photo of the group and told me about the Cosmic Tones:

My name is Alex Hernandez and I played bass in the Cosmic Tones in Bell Gardens, CA. I had wanted to play the guitar since I was about 5 years old. My uncle Chris asked me what song I wanted him to teach me and I said “La Bamba” by Richie Valens. He taught me this song and it was the start of my playing. When I was 13 I wanted to start a band so I started asking around and my friend Terry Williams was interested. He was 13 also and played rhythm guitar for us. My brother Vincent wanted to play drums, he was 14 years old.

We found David Silva who played lead guitar for us. He was a little older, he was 17 years old. We had a 5th addition in the band, Morris Ochoa and he was 14 then. He only stayed with us for about two months.

We all styled our hair back after ratting it up. We all used about a 1/2 can of Aqua Net hairspray before each play. After being together for about a month we had our first gig on Channel 34, a Mexican channel. We played an instrumental of “La Bamba” and it seemed to be a big hit.

We played songs such as “Whittier Blvd”, “My Girl”, “Land Of a Thousand Dances”. What a great time the ‘60s were. “Twist and Shout” was a favorite. We used to practice at any park that would let us, City of Commerce Park, Bell Gardens Park, Ford Park, and also at a park in Watts. We played at the junior high assemblies.

We also played in many battle of the bands and came in second at Ford Park out of around 12 groups. We played at the Cinnamon Cinder in Hollywood & at the Bob Hope telethon in Hollywood. We played at the Watts Festival and had a great time. We played at the White Front store in L.A. for two weeks after school to promote cerebal palsy research. We played at a teen club the Diamond Horseshoe in La Puenta, & for a CB club in Hidden Valley.

My Dad had us cut one 45 record and on side A was a song sung by my brother, “I’m Gonna Build Me A Woman” and side B was an original instrumental.

Our rival band in Bell Gardens was the Nite Walkers. They were a real good group and we all went to school together. We always tried to be better than them and they wanted to be better than us.

The group broke up after about two years and I started playing the upright bass in high school. I joined the Army for 8 years in 1971, My brother joined the Army in 1969 and went to Viet Nam.

We lost sight of David Silva, and Terry Williams holds a jam session up towards San Diego weekly. I don’t know where Morris Ochoa went, My brother retired with the railroad and now manages a trailer park.  We are all in our mid ‘60s now but I do know we still enjoy music every day. I retired with FedEx freight in 2013.

The last play I had was with my brother’s group the TCB Flash which is one of the best Elvis groups in southern CA. I sang and played four songs for New Years in 2016 at the Grove Theater in Upland CA. My songs were “House of the Rising Sun”, “Hang On Sloopy”, “Gloria” and “Wooly Bully”. Had a blast from the past and the audience seemed to really enjoy the show.

– Alex Hernandez, 2017

The Missing Links

The Missing Links have this one excellent 45 on Discovery Records, released possibly in October, 1965. The band was erroneously listed as from Texas, but California is much more likely, as the Discovery label was from the Los Angeles area.

On the top side is “You’ve Got Your Rosies On”, a nicely produced tune where the singer makes it clear his girl shouldn’t expect much of him, while the girl’s voice chimes in asides like “too bad.” It was written by R. Jarrard and James Hilton and arranged by James Hilton, and published by Jarhill Pub. Co., BMI.

I never thought I’d make a record babe, but look at Sonny and Cher,
They had something to say, now I’ve got something to say to you,
Babe, you’re expecting too much, so take off your rose-colored glasses,
See me as I really am.

You’ve got your rosies on …

Spend all day writing songs, changing worlds, righting wrongs,
Everyday it’s ‘get a job’, but I can’t see this working hard,
Ain’t me babe, that ain’t me babe..

Wear those funny way-out clothes, my girl says ‘what are those?’
What I am, no I explain, cause your ideas can’t make me change
It’s me babe, ah it’s me babe.

Expecting things from a guy like me, causes problems can’t you see,
Wear my hair mighty long, need that hair to sing this song to you babe,
Just to you babe, oh yeah,

What I’m saying in this song, is maybe I’m right, maybe you’re wrong
And just because my pockets are bare, that don’t mean I ain’t going nowhere.
I’m going somewhere, oh yeah, I’m goin’ somewhere …

If you don’t want me you don’t have to come at all,
But if you want me, you better take off your glasses babe,
See me as I really am…

“They Say You Lie” is the opposite of the light-hearted top side. It’s a brooding song, with slashing guitar chords, pounding toms and self-pitying vocals that rise for the chorus “but they say … you lie, you lie”. The guitar solo has a matching intensity. It was written by D. Abrahamsen and N. Nissenson. Both sides were produced by James Becht.