Raul M. Garcia, who worked as a musician all of his life and made dozens of records, has died at his Mission Hills home of complications of diabetes. He was 52.
Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Garcia came to the United States when he was a child and began playing music in junior high school. He played a variety of instruments, including saxophone, piano, bass and vibraphone. After graduation from Glendale's Hoover High School in 1956, Garcia formed Rudy Garcia & the Imperials, which recorded many Latin and rock 'n' roll singles on Garcia's own label, Katinga Records.
Later, Garcia renamed his label Billionaire Records and wrote and produced his own material. He recorded about a dozen albums and toured the Southwest, Central and South America and Europe.
Garcia is survived by his wife, Anna Lisa Garcia; daughters Cathy Garcia, Trina Villareal and Christy Garcia, all of Los Angeles, and Elizabeth Garcia of Mission Hills; brothers Manny Garcia of Mission Hills, Jess Garcia of Pico Rivera and Bob Garcia of Burbank; sisters Antonia Montanez of Burbank, Connie Lopez of Westminster and Mary Bennett of Northridge; and four grandchildren.
A funeral was held Saturday with burial at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills. Utter-McKinley Mortuary in Mission Hills handled the arrangements.