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The Vinyl Frontier #2 - Collecting Tex-Mex & Chicano Vinyl

Posted by V.B., August 17, 2011 06:41pm | Post a Comment

tear drop talk to me sunny and the sunliners vinyl lp    buena suerte follow the leader little joe and the latinaires vinyl lp   falcon tortilla factory antonio martinez guerrero vinyl lp

To check out extensive LP label and price guides, head to the Vinyl Beat website!

Tex-Mex, the melding of rock and roll with Chicano music, started in San Antonio and L.A. in the late 1950s. It quickly spread to all Mexican-American communities throughout the Southwest. It wasn’t called Tex-Mex in L.A., but there was a similar aesthetic in all the Chicano communities and I’ll lump them together for the purposes of this article.

Some of the more famous bands in Texas were The Sir Douglas Quintet,Sunny & the Sunliners,Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, Little Joe & the Latinaires, Freddie Fender, Rocky Gil, and The Royal Jesters. In L.A., it started with Ritchie Valens and Chris Montez, and the mid-‘60s saw the rise of Thee Midnighters, The Premiers, Cannibal & the Headhunters, and a host of lesser known bands.

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Lalo Guerrero "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito"

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 29, 2009 02:09am | Post a Comment
I was going through some singles I had recently purchased and one of them was one by Lalo Guerrero. It wasn’t one of his most famous songs, but it's a great single nonetheless. "Pancho Claus" b/w "The Burrito" was released in 1969 on Cap Latino Records. By then, Lalo was touring and recording with his son, Mark, and his band, Mark & The Escorts. According to Mark Guerrero's website, “Pancho Claus” was a newer version of his classic Christmas song, which he originally recorded in the fifties. It’s the Chicano version of Twas The Night Before Christmas, with mother cooking Enchiladas (I wonder why Lalo didn't mention tamales? Even my Non-Mexican friends know that's when you get tamales? hmmm...), while Dad dances Mambos with the all the ladies. Rather than the kids sleeping, they are listening to The Beatles. During that part of the song, Mark & The Escorts break into “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The original 1950s version referred to Elvis, but since it was 1969, Lalo wanted to stay with the times. The next verse describes a drunken uncle that will surely end the fun and prevent Pancho Claus from visiting the household. Eventually, Pacho Claus appears, but not before the drunken uncle breaks into a version of the Mexican classic “Guadalajara.”

The flipside is even better. “El Burrito” is a song about a guy eating a burrito with a girlfriend. The chorus goes: “I’ll bite on one end, you’ll bite on the other, we’ll meet in the middle and then oh brother, we’ll kiss and kiss until we smother, and when it’s gone, we’ll order another.” It’s one of those double-meaning songs that ends with the mother catching the couple sharing the burrito. The mother takes the daughter home and Lalo is left all alone with just his burrito in his hand.

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Imaginary Jukebox: Part 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 9, 2009 08:54am | Post a Comment

My friend Shin Miyata from Japan came to visit over the weekend. He wanted to go to a bar in East L.A. that he had never been to. After discussing a few that were "been there, done that" by Shin, we decided on a steakhouse/bar in Monterey Park called The Venice Room. We arrived just in time to hear someone sing a Karaoke version of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” It was painful. It was so bad that Shin apologized to me on behalf of the Japanese people for creating Karaoke. The Venice Room looks like it was the place to be at one point. Now it seems like it has gone the way of many neighborhood bars in the area. People want sports, so it's ESPN on the T.V. screen the entire night. The décor of the place has been ruined by way too many beer advertisements. And then, there is Karaoke. On the plus side, at least it’s not some hipster joint. The Venice Room serves its purpose. It’s a neighborhood bar for neighborhood people. Drinks are cheap and I can choose to fall into the fun or go to another place for drinks. That night we chose to go to Ordoñez for some late night food since The Venice Room had stopped serving food.

The Venice Room reminded me of dive bars I used to hang out in when I had just turned twenty-one. Each one was a new experience. Some I liked and some I didn’t. Most of the time, the places I liked were dictated on the jukebox. My favorite places were the ones that still had the jukeboxes with the 45’s in them. With CD jukeboxes, there is always that person who will play an entire Doors album. Then you get stuck listening to them sing along with the whole thing and soon you wish the joint had Karaoke. With 45’s, you had the choice of side A or B of a single. It discourages the jukebox hogs. You can’t play the entire “Dark Side Of The Moon” album because it can’t fit on a 45. I got exposed to some great music by not having many choices. The limited choices forced you to listen to artists that normally you wouldn’t listen to. Even if you only played the artists that you liked, you would be forced to listen to the b-side of a single at some point.

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