February 16, 1947 – August 14, 2017
John was born on Feb. 16, 1947. He was the third child and the second boy born to Juan Cortinas and Caroline Cardenas Cortinas of Eagle Pass, Texas. They already had Ralph (Oct. 24, 1940) and Nellie (Sept. 30, 1942). When John was three years when the family relocated to California where Rick was born on (Sept. 13, 1953).
John struggled through school because he did not like it. At about age 12 or 13, John received a toy guitar for his birthday and he loved that guitar. A friend of John that lived in the area was from a musical family and was very advanced on the guitar himself. He started to give John guitar lessons. John took the lessons very seriously and wanted to learn all that he could. He became a real good guitar player.
Meanwhile, in school John signed up for cross country running and really began to enjoy it very much. He loved to run. He went on to break and set a few records some of them may still stand. One year he made the all-city cross country team and won a medal for second place, just seconds behind the first place runner. John left school in the 10th grade.
He switched over to the bass guitar and became so good that he started to play bass guitar for some local rock groups that were just starting out. He was also a singer with some of the groups from East Los Angeles. Some of these groups were: Thee Midnighters, Cannibal and the Headhunters, and Little Anthony and the Imperials. John also played in some of the recordings that these groups made. He also toured the East Coast at a young age with several singers before they were famous, such as: Billy Preston and Smokey Robinson. He was well known himself by this time and in demand by some of the bands. John’s band provided the music when Nellie and Rene were married, and also when Rick and Corrine were married.
John has 5 children: Timothy, Paul, Johnny, Amanda and Sammy; 8 grandchildren, and another on the way. He leaves behind his three siblings. His father died in 1991 and his mother in 2002. John marched to his own drummer and he probably played bass guitar for him also. He is now playing his guitar for those Angels that like his music. We will sorely miss John with all our hearts. RIP John and keep playing your song.
Funeral Services will be held Friday, August 25, 2017 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church located at 1835 Larkvane Road, Rowland Heights, CA 91748. Viewing begins at 9:30AM and Funeral Mass 11AM. Interment immediately following at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Rowland Heights, CA.