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Sanchez Family of Las Hermanas Montoya

Mercedes, Ofelia, Emilia and Esther Montoya were born of immigrant parents who moved to the United States in 1928. Mercedes was born in Mexico, and the remaining siblings were all born in California. Their parents, Salvador, a railroad worker, and mother, Concepción eventually moved the family of ten to San Jose, California where they grew up on Little Orchard Street. The girls formed their own group in the 1940's and began performing on live shows at local businesses such as tienda La Mexicana and sang at the grand opening broadcast of KEEN Radio in 1947.

In 1948 an executive from the Bacardi Radio Hour, a popular radio show in Mexico City, heard their voices and immediately asked them to perform on the show.Mercedes returned to San Joseafter one year and the trio stayed on and performed at the elite El Patio Night Club. In 1950 the "Mambo King" Perez Prado hired them to go on a world tour that included Japan. They also appeared with Celia Cruz, Nat King Cole and Billy Eckstine and recorded with Luis Arcaraz and Chucho Navarro. They won a gold record from RCA Victor for their million selling single, "Mucho, Mucho, Mucho". They retired and returned to the San Jose area by 1969 and all got married. All the sisters have passed on but their families are still around the bay area and beyond.

Want to know more? Read, Hermanas Montoya at Wikipedia and see their videos on YouTube.

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