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The Father of Chicano Music

Lalo Guerrero to perform at Autry Center concert, September 18

Published on LatinoLA: September 2, 2004


The Father of Chicano Music


LALO GUERRERO recorded his first album in 1939. He has since been credited with over 700 songs with subjects such as historical figure Cesar Chavez, farm workers, and the plight of illegal immigrants. His ?Canci?n Mexicana? became a folk favorite throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States, and was covered by legendary singers such as Lucha Reyes and

Lola Beltran. ?Nunca Jamas? was recorded by the equally legendary Trio Los Panchos, Javier Solis, and Jose Feliciano. His pachuco music of the late ?40s and early ?50s provided the sound track to Luis Valdez?s late ?70s play and cult-classic film, Zoot Suit.

He has performed all over the United States and Mexico and in Paris, France. He has received countless awards, including being declared a National Folk Treasure by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and receiving the National Medal of the Arts, presented by President Clinton. He has been invited to the White House three times, by Carter, Bush Sr., and Clinton. Not bad for a kid who was born and raised in the Barrio Libre section of Tucson, Arizona, to a large family with limited financial means.

He appeared in a few Hollywood movies, including Boots and Saddles, starring Gene Autry, and His Kind of Woman, starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell. When he moved to Los Angeles in the ?40s, he recorded approximately 200 songs for Imperial Records, as a soloist and with Trio Imperial. He performed as a solo front man for years at the legendary Bamba Club near Olvera Street. Later, in the ?50s, he formed his own orchestra, played for years at the Paramount Ballroom in East L.A., and toured extensively around the Southwest. In the ?60s, with the proceeds from his national hit ?Pancho Lopez,? he bought his own night club called Lalo?s, where his orchestra regularly performed. In 1972, after 10 successful years, he sold the club and moved to Palm Springs, California, where he still resides. Lalo Guerrero currently has a parody CD out titled Lalo Guerrero?s Greatest Parodies. On the Sounds of Sancho label, it includes his classic ?Tacos for Two,? ?Elvis Perez,? ?Pancho Claus,? and ?No Chicanos on TV.?

Lalo Guerrero will be performing at the Autry National Center's "S? Se Puede! Bailar, Cantar, Perdurar: The Chicano Music Scene" concert on Saturday, September 18, 2004. Visit www.autrynationalcenter.org for more information.

Lalo Guerrero will be performing at the Autry National Center's "S? Se Puede! Bailar, Cantar, Perdurar: The Chicano Music Scene" concert on Saturday, September 18, 2004. Visit www.autrynationalcenter.org for more information.




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