Living Legend of Rock & Roll: Gene Generoso
by Benjamin Canlas

The Living Legend of Rock & Roll, King and Godfather of Rock and Roll in the Philippines. (Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perking, Gene Vincent and Elvis Presley rolled into one) – GENE GENEROSO. He started his singing career in 1954, singing Tennessee Ernie's “SHOTGUN BOOGIE”, “SIXTEEN TONS”, etc. at Melody Club, DZPI. He won the Melody Club Singer of the Month contest. Gene formed the “G-Ners Trio” in 1955. Gene entered and won contest after contest, Boie Watsonal, Tawag ng Tanghalan, Student Canteen, etc. Whether it be with a band on solo, he made a good Rock and Roll name for himself.

In 1956, Gene formed a group at Sampaguita Pictures called the “Homerockers”. The group is composed of Raul Silos, Ike Lozada and Ric Sanches. In 1957, Gene organized a band called “The Cool Cats”. This group sounded great. They were playing Rock and Roll, light Jazz and some Latin. The Cool Cats won First prize at the Darigold Jamboree National Band Competition against bands all over the land. The members of “The Cool Cats” were Paquito Quinto, brother of Rosa Mia, Boy Lopez and one John Doe and Gene as band leader, singer and guitarist.

Gene's singing voice was used by superstars like Jose Mari Gonzales, Romeo Vasquez, Ric Rodrigo, etc. In 1960 Gene Generoso and Jose Mari Gonzales joined forces to form a premier group called “The Electromaniacs”. The members; Gene Generoso, band leader/singer/guitarist, Ernie Delgado, lead guitarist, Lito Torribio, drummer, Joey Gordon and later on Emil Caballero as bass player, and Jose Mari Gonzales as manager. Gene, with “The Electromaniacs” recorded Gene's original “BROKEN GUITAR” which became No. 1 on the Philippine Top 10/DZMB for three months. Gene Generoso and “The Electromaniacs” performed with Neil Sedaka and front acted Paul Anka at the Araneta Coliseum.

In 1963, Gene founded “The Deltas”. His members; Bob McCoy – lead guitar, Tonet Fabie – bass, Vaughn Velasco – drummer.

By then, Gene exiled himself for six months in Bicol where he made more electric guitars and bass. Gene made all the guitars and bass guitar in recording “BROKEN GUITAR”/ “JAMBOLAYA”.

The following year, Gene joined “The Wanderers”, later changed to “Celtics”. Gene performed at the “NIGHT OWL DANCE PARTY” and “DJ DANCETIME” on channel 11. The “Celtics” recorded “BIG DADDY”, a hit. Gene reorganized his “DELTAS” and go on to record hit tunes like “ROCKIN' LOVE”, “I SAW HER STANDING THER”, etc.

Later in 1965, Gene joined Mareco Broadcasting Network as DJ, Music composer/director, Musician and Singer. Composed songs for Mercy Molina, Ronnie Villar, etc. Recorded “WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHIN' IN”, “BREAK UP”, “WHEN MY HEART IS SAD AND LONELY”, “LITTLE GIRL”, etc. Psychedelic Radio DJ/News Caster in 1967.

In 1968 Gene, joined J. Walter Thompson as Jingle Maker, Producer and eventually TV/CINEMA Director.

Sometime in 1985, Gene teamed with guitar wizard Sonny Rivera and this time Gene's instrument was the keyboard. The duo performed at selected nightclubs including Bistro RJ.

Gene is living and semi-retired in Davao, plays in special parties as a one man band. Now and then he comes to Manila to direct commercials and performs with the “Dynasouls” in clubs like Funnyside, Richard Merck's place in Makati and few selected Rock & Roll night spots.

Gene Generoso will always Rock and Roll,,,,,,,,,

This feature article posted on April 18, 2007

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