A Chicano soul group, the Royal Jesters formed in San Antonio, Texas in 1958. The original lineup featured Louis Escalante, Henry Hernandez, Oscar Lawson, and Mike Pedraza, all of whom met at Sidney Lanier High School in their hometown's west side. Across several decades, the group's lineup went through numerous changes, including the additions of Dimas Garza (aka Dimas III) and Joe Jama. Hernandez remained the lone founding member. Inspired by their Mexican roots, doo wop, and eventually early Motown, the Royal Jesters became part of San Antonio's cultural fabric as frequent performers and recording artists. They issued their debut single, "My Angel of Love," in 1959, and followed it with several additional 45s for the Cobra and Jox labels, as well as their own Jester, prior to their debut album, We Go Together, in 1965. While they were beloved local stars, the Royal Jesters nonetheless evolved, switched from songs with predominantly English lyrics to strictly Spanish-language material, and embraced Tejano with a fusion of soul, rock, polka, and Mexican folk. Additional singles, as well as a pair of albums -- Yo Soy Chicano (1971) and Their Second Album (1975) -- were released during the '70s. From the latter part of that decade and forward, the Royal Jesters were infrequently active. Later albums included Tribute (1996) and Odyssey: The Journey (2005). The Numero label anthologized the group's pre-Tejano years with English Oldies (2015).
The Royal Jesters Biography
by Andy Kellman