You may not know the name Hilario “Larry” Ramos. I know I didn’t. But we should have. Ramos is the first Filipino American musician to hit the mainstream as a member of The Association, according to the Asian Journal,
His song Never My Love is the number two song in the century, according to BMI. It ranks right behind the Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and The Beatles “Yesterday.”
“It’s amazing to me that few if any Filipinos know that they have a groundbreaker in Larry,” says Gerald Ishibashi, a concert promoter, entertainer, and former musician.
“Believe me when I say there were a lot of kids, like me, growing up as an Asian American, who remember seeing him on an album cover or television and saying, ‘Oh my God, there’s an Asian American in a mainstream band. I want to be just like him.’”
The 71-year old Ramos now lives in Idaho.
“I guess I’m the first Filipino and Asian American to do anything [in the music industry],” he says. “During that time I was always the little brown kid who played the banjos. It’s really an enlightening thing. I never thought of myself as successful. I always thought this was a job.”