Saturday, July 07, 2012

Keeping cool with San Antone conjunto

While the scorching temperatures continued to climb yesterday, I kept cool with CONJUNTO.
Specifically, I listened to the ARHOOLIE RECORDS compilation "SAN ANTONIO'S CONJUNTOS IN THE 1950S."
Conjunto means "group" and refers to a musical style born in southern Texas when Mexican-American folk music and romantic ballads combined with the button accordion favored by German-Americans. I rarely know what they're singing about, but my toe never quits tapping. That's good music to me.
This compilation's songs represent some of the popular Tex-Mex output of Rio, record label founded by SAN ANTONIO liquor store owner Hymie Wolf.
From 1948-63, Wolf released on Rio a variety of Tejano acts, Conjunto Alamo, Conjunto Topo Chico, Los Chavalitos and many others. Some became Tex-Mex stars, others faded into obscurity.
Some of the tunes hint at the beginnings of rock-n-roll and start a thread continued by Freddy Fender, Sunny & The Sunglows and Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.
I've been listening to a lot of music from Texas during our ongoing HEAT WAVE. "San Antonio's Conjuntos in the 1950s" might be the most purely enjoyable.


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