Local musician Solis releasing his ‘Mexican Side’

Published 3:49 pm Monday, May 24, 2010

When the two Angel Solis’ moved, they had to make sure the new house could handle the ivory baby grand that’s the den’s focal point, until its owner is seated and playing.

Ramon Angel Solis, known to generations of Pompano Club attendees as Ray Solis, is married to a woman also named Angel.

He commands attention as he tickles the ivories and sings his compositions. His latest tunes on a new bilingual CD, “The Mexican Side of Me,” which he just released through legendary producer Huey P. Meaux.

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“He supervised all my arrangements, capturing all songs with feeling,” Solis reports. “We composed five new songs and rearranged seven oldie-goldies for this unusual CD. Favorites are “Save the Last Dance For Me and “Have I Stayed Away Too Long.”

Solis began performing in 1958  with Johnny Preston and Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois and performed at The Pompano Club, with the band Spectrum, for 38 years.

Angel Solis said her husband is “proud of the job that he did and the many people that he touched.”

“It’s a labor of love for him. It’s God-given talent,” she said.

Solis said he’s watched generations celebrate happy times at the club, and kept in touch with young people who grew up to be doctors and lawyers.

Currently he performs with his brother Louis at the Bombay Club in New Orleans and at local nursing homes. Don’t expect him to pinpoint a favorite genre.

“I love it all,” he said.

Latin beats, country tunes and rock ‘n’ roll have mixed with ballads and Big Band sounds in Solis’ career.

Solis has been a pianist and vocalist for 52 years. He and his wife both say music is the universal language. They have five children, 10 great-grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He is a Bishop Byrne High School and Lamar graduate and retired from Chevron Refinery after 30 years.

He says his hobbies are composing different genres of music and producing web sites through solistx.com. He has composed a bilingual hymn for the dedication of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church shrine. He attends the church.

“The Mexican Side of Me” includes “Say You’ll Stay Until Tomorrow,” “Mama Mamita,” “Delta Dawn” and “A Night in San Antonio.” For more information on the CD, view his web site at www.rasolis.com, visit great-recordings.com, visit Larry’s French Market or call Solis at 962-2229.

To nominate a Senior on the Go, call Darragh Doiron at 721-2430.