I have attached a picture of one of our former classmates of which some of you might remember...this is Willie Ornelas...I met him during my days playing in the Hamilton Jr high band and then we went onto Reagan high school...
We email each other on a regular basis......when willie was in the army, Sharon's uncle "Marshall Stewart" who was the owner of the Dome Shadows and many other clubs in the Houston area, contacted willie and informed him when he got out of the army he had a job waiting for him at the dome shadows.....
this the first time I had seen willie since high school....I was on the dance floor and looked up and saw Willie behind the drums....he was the drummer for Bobby Bradshaw and The Jokers.....from this point, willie was hired to play drums for the Sonny & Cher show...then after they divorced, he played for Cher and then he was hired to play drums for the Tony Orlando & Dawn show....
he has played for MANY bands and artists thru out his career.....he cannot recollect them all but at the present, he is playing the drums for the background music on the TV show "According to Jim"....(and a special note here>>>the guy playing drums in Jim's garage is another Houston guy who Willie helped him get his career started, this is Tony Braunagel....
Willie lives in Malibu, CA now and has been there for many yrs. He still has family here in the Houston area.
I am proud to call him a friend and he has helped my son Stephen with info and contacts to help him with his drumming career.
Hamilton and Reagan should be proud that one of their former students has done so well for himself.
This is the comment which Willie sent to me along with his picture:
This is the only one I have and I have this one because there is a book coming out later this year about drummers of the world ( they gave me a copy) and they decided to include me in it. Go figure.