FOREWORD by Chip Souza

The music came alive in my dad's first musical adventure. The Tropics were Florida's best illustration of the beach garage pop music scene in the late '60s. California had the bright sensibilities of the Beach Boys in all of their five-part harmony surf music glory, but Florida had a scene that was unique and all its own. And the greatest band to come out of that era was The Fabulous Tropics. There are some books out already with The Tropics story included, Florida's Famous and Forgotten written by Kurt KOTO Curtis and The Heey Baby Days by Greg Haynes.

Here you'll see some of the pictures from the album covers and newspaper articles. Really groovy, man! I mean, did you see the stripes on those pants? And those boots-the haircuts?

Ah, the baby boomers-my favorite generation! Everyone who is a baby boomer has watched the band grow up in the spotlight. And grow up, indeed! Even though it took a lot longer to do that than some other generations, there isn't a group more colorful and full of life. Music and love was the glue that held them together. Rebellion and revolution tore them apart. My dad was one of those guys on stage playing his heart out.

My father made a name for himself as a recording artist, musician, vocalist, entertainer, band leader, songwriter, and music producer. He has performed in the music business for more than forty years. The Tropics were quintessential in that time, but so much happened up to now. My dad's success came with playing music, recording, performing live, singing, and playing several instruments including bass guitar, piano, guitar, and sax. He had songs released on Columbia Records, Atlantic, Polydor, Fantasy Records, Capricorn, Laurie Records in New York, Phoenix Records in Europe and now as an independent publisher with Souzaphone Records.

It wasn't all glamorous like they say. I remember watching my dad's band, Fortress, lay down tracks for twelve hours in a Hollywood studio for an album they were working on. Perfection?-No! That's just the way the business goes. These guys work hard at what they do. People see the band up on stage, playing music, laughing, singing and dancing around. Looks like a dream job but it's not as easy as it looks. It takes talent, skill, professionalism and intentionality-not only to write the songs, but also to play them on stage, create the choreography and stage show around the music and make it entertaining for the audience.

Sure, it's in the blood. I've been playing guitar all my life and was in and out of bands in my teens and twenties but every time I see my dad at a show, I always end up going back to school. You should've seen The Tropics do their thing! I was in awe at the reunion concert in '99 at the St. Petersburg Coliseum.

Throughout my dad's career, I remember many times helping him push amps through the back halls of hotels and up the service elevators, loading my dad's Datsun B210 station wagon in North Hollywood at three in the morning. We would drive home and be on the road for hours after packing up sweaty shirts and guitar chords, looking for some water in the dark of some cramped changing room backstage-coming home exhausted.

My dad has a passion for his music. He writes and records on some eight-track system at home and then shows me some cool things he did with the guitar on a song, the layers of instruments and drum tracks. The finished product is some melodic and rhythmic energy that comes from the soul. It's solid, timeless-and very good.

But who is the man behind the music? Every kid who was born had a mom and dad, so we begin at the beginning. To dig into my dad's life, we must start with his mom and dad and talk about the music that carried him through to now. He's had a wild ride! Get ready for a truly creative journey!
Charles Jesse "Chip" Souza, Jr.

"And Please remember to put some songs in it, especially from "Live Your Dream" and have my Dad talk about the "inspiration" of the song, too. It is his work that needs to be highlighted, because it is his life that led to such great work. make sense? Thanks again, and feel free to email me at if you want to. ~ Chip ~ Take care, and have a Groovy Christmas!"


"Free as a Bird" music by Chip Souza, Lyrics, Melody - Charlie Souza, Guitar, Production - Mike Conway


. . . . . . .Chip is an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader with a passion for innovation and creativity. He has a developed and deep appreciation for art, music, and literature.

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