Sunday, July 15, 2007

Swing chicas patas, este es mi borlo

I am groovin' to some early Chicano R&B this morning, including the marvelous "Chicas Patas Boogie" by Lalo Guerrero (pictured).
Guerrero is often cited as "the father of Chicano music," and his most popular recordings still sound vibrant today, as he mixed R&B with traditional, regional Mexican sounds to create a fresh, danceable concoction.
I am listening to Arhoolie Records' "Pachuco Boogie," a great sampler of Chicano music that proved wildly popular among Mexican-American listeners in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
I especially like "Chicas Patas Boogie," as Guerrero provides a virtual tour of central California dance halls -- he names Turlock, Sacramento, Fresno and Stockton during the course of the song.
The Smithsonian Institution named Guerrero a "national folk treasure" in 1980.
I am calling him "a masterful maker of hip-shaking music" on July 15, 2007.


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