“In 1944 a beautiful woman who was a full time social worker and a part-time movie actress, and her classical guitarist husband adopted an abandoned eight year old little boy named Billy. Nothing unusual there at all… except that the couple were Mexican and the little boy was white. This would prove to be the first inter-racial adoption in California in an era when it was regarded as a ‘social taboo’ and even illegal in some states.
After being taught to play guitar by his father, this same little white boy would grow up, and together with three of his teenage Mexican friends would form the first inter-racial band in the history of ‘Rock and Roll.’ ‘Los Nomadas’ (or The Nomads). They were a controversial group from the very start. The group’s drummer Jose ‘J.D.’ Moreno would often comment prior to a show as a humorous prayer, “”One For All…. All For One…. And Don’t Let Them Kill The White Kid.”” While said in jest, there was an ever-present grain of truth in his levity.
This was just the beginning for a quiet unassuming musician who, content to stay in the shadows and raise a family, would play guitar and arrange music for some of the biggest names in the music business. Elvis Presley would give him the nickname ‘The Fixer,’ for his ability to salvage musical arrangements that would have otherwise been mediocre at best. Among his closest friends would be Rick Nelson and Del Shannon with both friendships ending in heartbreaking disaster.
This is the true story of the man who quietly lived through fifty years of rock and roll while also leaving his innovative mark in the world of Country Music…. When you hear lush violin sections playing on modern country music records… this is the man who championed their use at a time when it was considered a violation of tradition and out of the question to do so.
This is also the story of a young man who once produced big band recordings for a California governor and then created an international incident by making fun of a viscous Dominican dictator who put him on a hit list…. A tyrannical dictator who was himself assassinated several years later…
It’s also a heartwarming story of the man that married a girl he had only known for three days and is still married to after more than fifty years. So, grab your easy chair, settle back and read the story of a remarkable life’s journey made by a remarkable man who indeed has earned the right to be called ‘Legendary.’ And a man I am proud to call ‘Mi Amigo.’
Armand Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico”