Raymond Baradat born 1942 Tulare, California.  Graduated Tulare
Union High School 1960.  Founding member of The Latin
Knights/Charades in 1956 singing 2nd tenor and baritone.   Continues
with the group to the present.  U.S. Army 1964-1966. Worked 34 years as
Attendance Officer for the Tulare High School District.  Married to
Sandra Santiago Baradat in 1985.  Music has been a life long pleasure
performing, producing and engineering The Charades and other local
San Joaquin groups.  Musical influences Ray Charles, The Coasters, The
Flamingos, The Drifters.
Syl Grigsby born 1942 Shreveport, Louisiana.  Graduated Tulare
Union High School in 1960.  Joined The Latin
Knights/Charades in 1957 singing falsetto lead, tenor and
baritone.  Syl continues to perform with The Charades at the
present time.  Worked for Coelho Meat packing plant for 40
years.  Married to Betty Jean Crisp in 1965, Hobbies are music
and watching basketball.  Musical influences Ray Charles,
Marvin Gaye, Little Willie John,
The Flamingos.
Leon Baradat born 1940 Tulare, California.  Graduated Tulare
Union High School 1958.  Leon was a founding member of The
Latin Knights 1n 1956 singing 1st and 2nd tenor.  Left group by
1959 to pursue education.  U.S. Marine Corp.
1957-1958.Taught high school in Tulare and then college for 40
years at Mira Costa College in Oceanside California.  Married
to Elaine Cote in 1965.  Leon has become an author and world
traveler.  He is now retired and spends his time playing golf,
growing various orchids, traveling and visiting grandchildren.  
Alex Pilkington born 1940 San Francisco, California. Graduated 1958
Tulare Union High School.  Joined Latin Knights/Charades in 1957.  
Sang Bass/Baritone.  U.S. Army 1959-1961.  Married Barbara Brewer
in Porterville California 1962. Worked as laboratory technician at
Porterville State Hospital.  Sang with the Charades until his death in
1968 from Hodgkin Disease.  Musical influences Bobby “Blue”
Bland, Sam Cooke, Little Willie John.
Johnny “Buddy” Johnson born1936 Yuma,
Arizona.  Graduated Tulare Union High School
1955.  Joined Lain Knights/Charades 1962.  Sang
1st Tenor/Lead.  Married Ethel Booker 1960,  
Johnny was a barber and later insurance sales.  Sang
with The Charades until 1974 when illness prevented
him from continuing .  Johnny passed away in
1991.  Musical influences: Johnny Ace, Al Green.
Wilbert Johnson born 8/ 6/1938 Yuma, Arizona.
Moved to Tulare in 1943, went to Lincoln Elementary
School and graduated Tulare Union High School 1956.
Joined Latin Knights/Charades in 1957 sang 1st
Tenor/Lead.  Married Kathryn Bailey in 1961. Moved
to Porterville, CA where he felt a strong desire to  join
the church and give his life to the Lord.
Will left the group in 1962 and was replaced by his
brother Johnny.  Will now lives in Stockton where he is
a minister. While with the group his musical influences
were Johnny Ace, Sam Cooke, Jerry  Butler.
Bob (Bobby ) Dennison, born 1946 in National City, California,
Graduated Mt. Whitney High School 1963.  Joined the Charades in
1969, and still works with band.  Guitarist and Vocalist.  Started R.J.
& the Showmen in the mid 60’s,  founding member of The Loose
Gravel Blues Band.  Married Sandra Solis1970.   Musical influences.....
Little Richard, Jimmy Reed and Steve Cropper(Booker T and the
MGs) The Charades gave me opportunies to develop my"soul sense"....
Kirk Reese born October 17, 1961Visalia, California.  
Graduated from Mt. Whitney High School 1980.  Attended
College of the Sequoias and Pepperdine University.  Married
Terri Reese 1983.  Instruments bass and guitar.  Started the
band Socrates in 1979 with Terri.  First played with The
Charades in 1991.  Currently playing in the band King Daddy
with Terri.  Musical influences The Beatles, Stax Records,
James Jamerson, sons Brendon and Cameron Reese
John Keith (January 15, 1950—July 30, 2009) was born and raised in the Los
Angeles area and graduated from Westchester High in 1968. During the 1960s, he
performed and recorded with various bands, including The American Revolution.  
John relocated to Central California in the 1970s where he joined the soul band
The Charades of Tulare and Loose Gravel Blues Band of Visalia. Over the years,
he showcased his guitar, bass, trombone, and vocal talents in bands such as Six
Above Zero, Stepsons of the Blues, the Mardi Gras band Fat Tuesday, the Beatles
tribute band Revolver, and the country-blues band The Grits.  He was also an
accomplished songwriter and solo artist.  John married Nona (Wallis) Hobbs in
2007.  He passed away from cancer related respiratory failure in 2009.  Musical
influences: Robert Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, Traffic, The Band, The Beatles.
Frank Rodriguez has been drumming for more than 30 years, throughout
elementary, high school, college, and still going strong. Frank comes from a very  
musical family with five talented brothers and  his dad (Chito) that could sing and
play the guitar like that was what he was born to do. Frank has been playing
drums professionally since the seventh grade and says his brother John was his
major influence for getting started. Frank says he is blessed to have lots of love and
support from his wife Karie, which is his number one fan ,and his four kids.  
Frank’s love of music is evident through the eyes of his children.  Frank Jr. is a
drummer, Chris plays the trombone, Julia loves music and sings all around the
house and Joshua is beginning to develop Daddy’s talent as well.  Frank has
played many styles of music including rock, top 40, latin rock, tex mex, blues,
salsa, alternative, R&B and the list goes on. He has played with many groups in
the central valley over the years and has performed up and down California and
five surrounding states.  Some of Frank’s favorite artists are Santana, Tower of
Power, AWB, Dave Mathews Band, Tommy Castro, and Coco Montoya  just to
name a few. His favorite drummers are David Garibaldi, Carter Beauford, Steve
Gadd, Steve Smith, and Dennis Chambers.  Frank is anxious to get the word out
about the true quality musicians and the music that this band performs.   
Frank is always ready to play with Charades.
Click here
Email
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Charades
Press here to view
Photo's
Charades
Press here to view
History
Press here to view
Charades
Press here to view
Charades
Listen to Music
Press here to view
Charades
Buy Album's
Press here to view
Charades
Bio's
Charades
Press here to view
Home Page
Press here to view
Charades
All Band Members
Email
Gary De Foe was born in 1951, in Tulare, California. Began taking piano
lessons at age seven from his grandmother. A victim of Beatlemania in
1965, he played guitar in his first garage band all four years during high
school. Gary was accompanying the Cherry Avenue Choir in 1978, when
Ray came in to record them and has been playing keyboards with the
Charades ever since. Met Luann Hickey at the Fresno State Music
Department when both were students and in 1976, married her. A perfect
pair: “She sings, I play the piano – what more could you want?”
Joe Luiz was born in Tulare, CA in 1955.  At the age of 13 he picked up
the drumsticks and has been drumming ever since.  Joe graduated from
Tulare Western High School in 1973.  He and his band , Justus, joined
The Charades while still in high school playing in clubs in the San
Joaquin Valley.  Joe pursued his music with his own band for a while
and rejoined The Charades in 1976 just in time to record a album at
Motown Records Studio with producer Art Stewart.  Joe’s drumming
was recognized by other Motown producers and played on albums by
Jack Ashford and the 21 Creation.By 1980 Joe formed his own band
Irony and continues his musical path singing, writing songs and of
course playing drums.  He has continued performing and recording
with The Charades when called upon.  Joe is married to Yvonne
Plasencia Luiz and has raised a son who also has musical talent.  Some
of Joe’s musical influences are Neal Peart from the band Rush, Merel
Bregante from Loggins and Messina and jazz great Buddy Rich.
Art Stewart Motown producer and engineer.  Art worked with the
crème of the Motown artists and producers.  Stevie Wonder, Norman
Whitfield, Smokey Robison, Hal Davis, Rick James, Diana Ross, The
Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The
Commodores, The Jacksons, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Jr. Walker,
The Originals, Bill Cosby, Ashford & Simpson, The Miracles,
Jermaine Jackson, The Four Seasons. And many more.
Art was Marvin Gaye’s personal engineer for over 10 years and
produced the number one hit “Got To Give It Up” for Marvin in
1977. Co-Produced “Come Get It” and  “Bustin’ Out” albums for and
with Rick James and Co-Produced “Wild and Peaceful” album on
Teena Marie with Rick James. Art became producer and friend of The
Charades in 1975.  He has been married to M.Dean McElhannon  for
45 years and is now retired and living in Las Vegas where he enjoys
his grand children and video production.
Manuel Cisneros was born in 1939 in Tulare, California.  Attended Tulare Union
High School until summer of 1957, graduating from Poly High School in Sun Valley,
California in 1958.  Founding member of the Latin Knights in 1956 singing baritone
and bass.  Sang with a band out of North Hollywood called The Flames from 1958 to
early 1959.  US Army 1959- 1962.  Worked for Los Angeles County as an assistant
chief, Park Police.  Retired 1995 and returned to Tulare.  Married Jane Halpin
Cisneros in 1985.  Enjoys riding his Harley and spending time with family.  Also
enjoys sharing old memories with Ray Baradat of the original Latin Knights.  
Musical influences include all of the old Rhythm & Blues groups of the 50s.
Vernon Vera
During the mid 60’s I graduated from Porterville union High School and had already
begun a long musical career in drumming. Playing in the high school band as a
trombone player and later developing into a drummer. The Classix was the first group
I played with and consisted of high school friends whose shared vision was to make
great music. These young musicians were already into Freddy King blues, bossa nova,
and of course, the Beatles. The Latin Knights, later to become the Charades, were
perhaps the biggest influence on us at the time.
My years, playing with the Charades, were mostly in the early to mid seventies. I did
the drum tracks on Black Lolita, which was my first experience in a recording studio. I
would say that the experience with the Charades provided me with much confidence
that had positively affected other areas of my life. During the end of the seventies I
continued my education and earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in law studies at the
University of California at Santa Barbara. I went on to play in the university jazz band
and later opened shows for Average White Band and Fleetwood Mac.
Looking back retrospectively, I was fortunate to be a part of a superb group of
musicians, and all from the Central San Joaquin Valley. I was part of the Charade’s
lineup that included Tommy Johnson who went on to form the Doobie Brothers. Also,
early jams included Steve Perry, originally from Hanford.
During  later years and until recently, I played with the Shelly West Band, and later
toured with Louisiana ‘Guitar’ Red, playing blues clubs and festivals.
Currently, I am working with BlueJacket, a group of seasoned local musicians, who I
assembled and who are now recording our first CD.
Kevin Chabiel has been playing saxophone for the
past 30+ years and started playing the keyboards
around the 80's, His greatest influences in life are his
Mother who has a never ending love and joy shared
with everyone she meets, and his Grandfather and
Father who taught him everything he knows when it
comes to playing the sax. Kevin started playing in
the Charades in the 1980's and he is still an active
member. When Ray Baradat needs a sax player,
Kevin is honored to play the Charades. Kevin
currently spends most of his time in his recording
studio recording local talent.
"GROOVE RECORDING."
Luann Hickey grew up in Ukiah, Ca., where she started her
vocal career at age 11.  She moved to the Central Valley in
1970 to attend Fresno State University as a music major.  She’
s been singing with the Charades (officially and unofficially)
since the early 1980’s when the band found itself in need of a
“chick singer.”   Luann has sung and recorded with various
other bands as well as performing in musical and dramatic
theater.  But she’s always happy to come back to the
Charades—because it always feels a little like coming home.
Ignacio “Iggy:” Perez began his music career at 7 yrs old
playing Tex-Mex music on an old beat up accordion.  Born
in Texas, his family migrated to the cotton fields of
Corcoran, California.    He started playing drums in
school in the third grade and at 12 years old he played
drums for a Tex-Mex group.  He became acquainted with
Ray Baradat when he was in the eighth grade and was
impressed with Rays early Elvis Presley impressions, Rays
love of the music of that era was contagious and in 1959 he
joined the “The Latin Knights” playing drums and later
bass guitar.  The group later changed their name to The
Charades.  Due to his work he moved a lot mostly in the
Los Angeles area, so he stopped playing with the group in
1973.  He has never stopped performing, however, and
branched out into rock, blues, country, and eventually
jazz.  He has also continued to play bass guitar, which he
started playing when the group needed a bass player.  His
influences have been Art Blakely, Harvey Mason and
Louis Bellson.   He can play various percussion
instruments, even played tympani on one of the Charades
early recordings.    The Charades were a major influence
in his musical life and he still gravitates towards rhythm
and blues and funk whenever he can play with those types
of groups.  He works for the Art Institute College and lives
in the Las Vegas area, not married, and savoring the
musical array of what Las Vegas has to offer.
Henry Vasquez, an early member of The Latin
Knights/Charades was a working musician years
before he joined The Latin Knights/Charades.  Henry
played in the Tulare High School Band and was a
founding member of The Rhythm Aces of Tulare.
The Rhythm Aces played Rhythm & Blues and
Mexican music throughout the San Joaquin valley.  
He played several musical instruments including Sax,
Trombone and Bass Guitar.  Henry joined The Latin
Knights/Charades in 1962 and remained until 1965
performing and recording with the group during those
years.  Henry continued playing music and recording
with various Mexican bands based in and around
Tulare, CA. for many years.  Henry lives in Tulare
with his wife Mary.

Tom Johnston was born in Visalia California on
August 15, 1948.  Tom’s favorite music as he
grew up included Little Richard, Bo Diddley,
Elvis, James Brown and lots of rhythm and blues
on the radio.  At the age of 12 Tom took up the
guitar, and had his first band at age 14. In his
early career he played with a variety of band
including The Implicits where he recorded his
first 45 record.  Tom joined The Charades in 1966
playing guitar and singing with the group for
almost two years.

Tom moved to San Jose to finish college and
started playing in bands around San Jose.
He went on to become a founding member of The
Doobie Brothers, a famous rock band that he still
plays with for almost 40 years.
Click here
Email
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Click here
Charades
Press here to view
Photo's
Charades
Press here to view
History
Press here to view
Charades
Press here to view
Charades
Listen to Music
Press here to view
Charades
Buy Album's
Press here to view
Charades
Bio's
Charades
Press here to view
Home Page
Press here to view
Charades
All Band Members
Email

Landes Dung: Lead and Rhythm Guitar, Lead and Back-up Vocals
First and foremost I give thanks and glory to God for all of his blessings
and gifts. Although I am a native Hawai’ian, I was born 1961 in Stuttgart,
Germany. I started playing Drums at the age of 4 and Ukulele by age 5. I
learned Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone, Sousaphone and Guitar by age
11. I was first chair Drummer for High School and played Guitar for my
first professional gig at age 12. I have since picked up a little keyboards as
well as the kazoo.
Through the years I’ve toured Montreal, Toronto, Quebec and Ontario
Canada; Ohio, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Hawai’i and also played on
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Some of my musical influences stem from:
1) My father who knew all the coolest Jazz chords, he didn’t know their
names but he knew how and where to use them. 2) Larry Carlton 3) Malo
4) Carlos Santana 5) George Benson 6) Tower of Power 7) Earth, Wind &
Fire just to name a few.
The Genres Played Professionally: Polynesian, Jazz, Funk, R&B, Soul,
Motown, Oldies, Doo-Wop, Latin, Rock, Barbershop, Gospel, Praise &
Worship. . .
William C. Bowen (Billy) born 1956 Upland Ca. Graduated Jakarta Joint
Embassy School 1974 Jakarta Indonesia. Four and half years as a
Merchant Marine South China Sea. Returned to United States, to Lindsay
Ca. My first paying gig Gang Sues,Porterville Ca. (Big Bill Smith and
California Country) lol…Moved on to local Bands consisting of Lefty
Frizzell's son (Ricky) and the rest of the Frizzell's time to time..Finding a
home with the Charades For a few years gave me the experience to pursue
a career as professional guitarist playing around the world (U.S.O.) with
musical artists such as Duck, ( members from Captain Beef Heart And
The Magic Band) Gold Dust also a road band, west coast, major desert
cities,  provided work (2-3 years).Then on to New orleans, playing in the
French Quarter with Ronnie James and The Blue Attitudes Also
performing regularly at Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters clubs, in New
Orleans. Our music moved us on to Nashville To do various recording
projects with musicians employed by major recording artists, including
my friends from the magic Band days.Working directly with the Merl
Allen show touring the east coast opening up for well known acts
including our band, when occasionally called upon. Always seeking better
employment, referred, auditioned, hired, with Bobby Helms 10 piece
theater band in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. This was my Last
professional gig. We moved to Roseburg Oregon, where I worked as a
Carpenter and welder. Built a recording studio and working on some
original material compounded over the years. My good friend and
colleague Mark Boston bassist from the Magic Band, Mallard, His
knowledge of music, recording, engineering, and harmony's has helped
expose different thinking and flavors of music, and he still tours with the
magic band to this day.(for over 30 years). works at the studio
engineering, recording, producing what ever our hearts desire with no
time limits or Ego's :)..With all the craziness of the music business
managed to have two wonderful sons one who is a Mud Engineer oil field
(Jesse Bowen) who also plays for self enjoyment, and Jake Bowen
(professional)  who has become a outstanding guitarist and well known in
the metal venue band name (Periphery). I could have never achieved such
a full musical career with out the help and guidance of the Charades. At
that Time it consisted of Ray, Syl, Bobby, Joe, Rodney, Gary, Phone
Booth, and self Billy. Thanks guys  for the Fish!!!!!!!  Best wishes Billy,
Jim Kusserow graduated from Porterville High School in 1976.  He
played trumpet in the Panther Band and Studio Band led by Buck
Shaffer.  He earned a degree in Music Education from San Jose
State in 1980 and a Masters Degree in School Administration from
Cal State Bakersfield in 1991.  Jim has performed all over the United
States and while in college was the main trumpeter for the hard
working band Los Paisanos.  He was principal trumpet for the
Tulare County Symphony for 20 years and has taught music at since
1981 at Mulcahy and Live Oak Middle Schools in Tulare, and at
Porterville High School.  The PHS band has performed at Lincoln
Center, The Kennedy Center, The Rose Parade and Carnegie Hall.  
Jim has also played extensively with the Wayne Foster Band from
Los Angeles performing throughout Southern CA, Hawaii, and Las
Vegas, where they opened for Harry Connick Jr. on New Years Eve
2000 at the Bellagio.  Jim has backed The Platters, The Coasters,
Jimmie Rogers, and the Four Freshmen.  Jim is currently recording
and performing with The Charades.
Hal Kent was born in 1950 in Visalia, California and
graduated from Mt. Whitney High School in 1968.  At age
16 he started playing guitar in bands with Bobby
Dennison and was a founding member of Champion, a
jazz rock band in Los Angeles during the ‘70s, and the
Loose Gravel Blues Band (1980-2011). He performed with
the Charades from 1989 to 1999 and later with several
local bands including Six Above Zero, Stepsons of the
Blues and is currently with the blues band Lake Bottom
Nails.  Musical influences:  Beatles and Rolling Stones,
Lonnie Mack, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, jazz
and R&B of the 60s.
John Lauffenburger
Edward “Eddie” Cuellar was born in Brawly, California in
1944.  He moved with his family to Visalia, California in the  
50’s and graduated from Redwood High School.
Eddie worked in the fields along side his father in his teen
years but was also learning to play the guitar.  Eddie joined
The Charades in 1963 and elevated the professionalism of the
band.  Eddie recorded the much sought after 45 records
“Christina” with the band in 1964.  The song was written by
Eddie for his wife Christina.  Eddie joined The Rhythm Kings
of Delano for a short time in the late 60’s but returned to The
Charades playing guitar and bass until 1973.  Eddie continued
working in the fields while attending California State
University, Fresno, where he earned a B.A. degree in political
science in 1968, and a master’s degree in history in 1990.

Eddie joined Cesar Chavez becoming a union organizer and
led boycotts in New York City.  He was a UFW delegate to the
1976 Democratic National Convention in New York.  

In 1978, Eddie began a career in state service, working with the
Agricultural Labor Relations Board. He was a regional
director for the California Conservation Corps. Until
retirement in 2006, he was worked with the voter registration
and outreach program of the California Secretary of State’s
office. He also taught history classes at College of the Sequoias
in Visalia.
Eddie passed away in 2008.
SUGERBEAR