Bio of Balde

Balde Silva, a.k.a. Toby Beau is a musician from the state of Texas, and leader of the Toby Beau Band. He is most commonly known for co-writing the hit song My Angel Baby with Danny McKenna. Born Baldemar Silva, Jr. in Weslaco, Texas to Baldemar and Juanita Silva, he adopted the stage name "Toby" upon being the last man standing after the other 4 band members McKenna, Steve Zipper, Ron Rose, and Rob Young had left after the completion of the band's second album, "More Than A Love Song." Although an early compilation released during the band's "Angel Baby" Tour has a side note, "Toby Beau is a Band, NOT a person," it should be noted that on the credits to the third album, "If You Believe," it clearly states that "Toby Beau is Balde Silva," thus verifying the adopted alias. Silva's stage name is not to be confused with the name of the band of which he is currently the leader. In additional work done with other musicians, he is credited as "Toby Beau."

In Memoriam - Danny McKenna, 1952-2006

The founding member of "The Toby Beau Band," passed away Wednesday, April 26th early in the morning. Group leader, Danny McKenna, age 54, died in his McAllen, Texas home. We will all miss him.

Those of us who were close to him, remember that he was a loving husband and devoted father of his children. Self-taught on guitar, banjo, piano and countless other instruments as well as a renowned guitar maker, Danny was a gifted songwriter and vocalist, always the consummate perfectionist. He wrote most of the material on the early "Toby Beau" albums and collaborated with Ron Rose and myself on our own material.

I remember in late 1977, he came to me with this great melody line and the best opening line lyric line I had ever heard in a song. Even with the song almost finished he still sought me out to get me to finish it with him. That is the kind of person he was musically and personally. That songwriting session gave birth to "My Angel Baby" and the greatest years of my life.

Everything I know on the guitar, I learned from him, and I am proud to carry on that legacy for the rest of my life. So to my dear friend, Danny, my mentor and best man at my wedding, I bid you farewell.

God Bless you, I hope He lets you look in on us from time to time.
Your little brother,

Balde Silva

The Complete History of Toby Beau

"Toby Beau," commonly refers to the Texas band formed in the early 70's most commonly known for the hit single, "My Angel Baby" in 1978. Though little is known around the world about this band past this top fifteen single, the band is, in fact, still in existence today, and continues to perform in the club circuit.

Formed in the Rio Grande Valley, the original members included guitarists Danny McKenna, Balde Silva, Art Mendoza, bassist Steve Zipper and drummer Rob Young. After numerous club performances around South Texas, the band moved to San Antonio, Texas and received a major record deal from RCA (now BMG). This deal would recruit the production talents of Sean Delaney, who at the time was also producing a young band named "KISS". In addition, guitarist Mendoza was replaced with guitarist and banjo extraordinaire Ron Rose, who added a sort of County-flavor to the band.

Upon completion of the self-titled first album, the band moved to New York, and would embark on major tours with artists and bands such as the Doobie Brothers, Bob Seger, and the Steve Miller Band. Popularity of the band would gradually arise through these tours, but this would suddenly become a skyrocket when the pop ballad "My Angel Baby" scored number 1 on the Easy Listening Chart for two weeks. Suddenly the album would score major sales, and "My Angel Baby" would eventually achieve gold status by being awarded the coveted "Million-Aire Award" by BMI for over a million radio plays. There was even a re-release of the album, this time with "My Angel Baby" as the album title which was added to the cover art.

Following the success of the first album, the band temporarily moved to Miami. There, recording sessions for the second album would not at all be impressive to the producers, and almost all recorded songs would be eliminated from the album. It was suggested that the band move to Tennessee and record with the likes of major session players. It was this move that started to break the band apart.

Although the addition of the production talents of Daniel Moore (writer for B.W. Stevenson and Three Dog Night) and Norbert Putnam (who had worked with Jimmy Buffet), as well as talented musicians like Victor Feldman (from Steely Dan fame) and Larry Londin (who later worked with Journey) provided a smooth fusion style to the music, members of the band felt the tradition of the music was severely altered. This initially resulted in McKenna's choice to leave the band before completion of the second album, entitled "More Than a Love Song," released in 1979.

This album would score a top 40 single in the cover of John D. Loudermilk's "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," but otherwise the album remained a financial disappointment to the band, and less than a year after the release, Zipper, Rose, and Young departed, leaving Silva at the helm with one album left on the contract.

Although it was a large burden on him to complete the third album single-handedly, this provided numerous successes, such as all legal rights to retain the band's name. Silva moved to Los Angeles to record the third album with producer Jerry Fuller. With the help of numerous studio artists, the third album, "If You Believe" was successfully released in 1980. Although not viewed as a commercial success, the album did score a third hit in the ballad "If I Were You," which might demonstrate a preview of how the band would sound in years to come.

After the third album, the band was dropped from RCA, but Silva has refused to let the band fall, having adopted the name of "Toby Beau," himself as his stage name. In the 80's, wife Rennetta (under the stage name Dennett) joined the band and the two would recruit numerous other musicians in the band for years to come. Sessions for a fourth album have been recorded numerous times in the 80's and again in the late 90's, but as of now, no plans have been made for any studio release, but self-made recordings have been produced, and can usually be bought from members of the band or at certain venues they work for.

Currently, the band continues to perform the club circuit with guest musicians who sit in frequently. Most recent guest musicians have included trumpeter and piano sensation Michael Schuler and Silva's son, saxophonist Michael Silva. The band can usually be located around South Padre Island, Texas and performing for the cruise ship industry or by checking the web site.

Rennetta's Twitter

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