With all the hubub of Christmas, this news of Lydia Mendoza's death escaped me. Amoeba carries her titles along with other great Tejano artists from Arhoolie label, just in case you've never heard of her and want to check out her music. Thanks to Billy Jam for this news item.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN ANTONIO (AP)
Lydia Mendoza, a Tejano music pioneer known as the Lark of the Border, died here on Thursday. She was 91. She had lived in the nursing home portion of the Chandler Estate, a retirement community. Her death was confirmed by her daughter Yolanda Hernandez.
Ms. Mendoza, who scored her first big hit, "Mal Hombre," in the 1930s, became one of the first Mexican-American superstars by singing to the poor and downtrodden. Her memorable musical style earned her a National Medal of Arts and a National Heritage Award fellowship. She was also asked to sing at Jimmy
Carter's inauguration in 1977.
Ms. Mendoza recorded more than 200 songs on more than 50 albums, including boleros, rancheras, cumbias and tangos, for labels including RCA, Columbia, Azteca, Peerless, El Zarape and Discos Falcon. In addition to pursuing a solo career, she also enjoyed performing with her family.
"Mal Hombre" (Evil Man), released in 1934 on the Bluebird label, became a hit on both sides of the border and was her signature song. Other hits included "La Valentina" and "Angel de Mis Anhelos."
She set the trend for others: Las Hermanas Cantu, Chelo Silva, Las Rancheritas and other women who followed Mendoza's lead in the world of Spanish music, said Lupe Saenz, executive director of the South Texas Conjunto Association. Mendoza will be remembered for her unique style of the 12-string guitar
and unique voice and style of singing.