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Spotlight on the Brown: Richard Duran

Chicano culture promoter and Internet TV pioneer

By Frankie Firme
Published on LatinoLA: March 18, 2005


Spotlight on the Brown: Richard Duran


The doors and floodgates have opened, y la Onda de talento cafe CHICANO has rushed in to enthrall the World, to the approval of many a Brown person in Aztlan.

Chicano writers, publishers, entertainers, arists, politicians, business leaders and sports stars have burst out into national attention. CHICANOS, formerly referred to as "Met-zee-kins," even amongst ourselves, are no longer relegated to minor league attention and leftovers. We no longer have to sit and wait for our share of American corporate crumbs.

CHICANO is no longer considered a dirty word, or lower level of humanity. It no longer signifies uneducated, poverty driven rebellion. We are no longer a source of chagrin for "not knowing our place".

"Si se puede" is no longer just a social battle cry, but is now a collectively accepted form of encouragement amongst ourselves.

American society has noticed that Chicanos, Latinos, or whatever they may refer to us as... can read, write, speak, perform in the Arts , Sports, and Business worlds and succeed IN ENGLISH!!!

Add that to our ancestoral language of Spanish, and to a small degree, a suprising rediscovery of Nahuatl (the tongue of the Aztecs), and it's easy to see that we got it going on in so many ways...it truly is "A Brown thing"...

One of the venues and forums that have given rise to the exposure of Chicanos and Chicano talent has been the Internet. A not-yet Corporate controlled media source, it is virtually uncensored & unlimited at what one can find and be exposed to.

This fine webpage being a prime example...

My weekly Internet Radio Show heard around the World being another...

...and now...Internet Television. That's right, TV on your home computer, anywhere on the planet!!

One, if not the first, Chicano pioneer on Internet TV is one of this month's Spotlight on the Brown Chicanos (I chilled last month, so this month you get 2!), none other than Aztlan's favorite camarada, Richard "Thee Mr." Duran of The West Coast's Adelphia cable and Internet TV show, "THEE MR. DURAN SHOW".

On the air for almost 5 years now, Thee Mr. Duran Show had an almost accidental beginning.

"I first took my son to the BuenaVision studios (now Adelphia) on an educational trip to encourage his interest in film and videos...and what I saw caught my interest!" Rick tells me during a recent interview. "I was lucky enough to get a shot at a cable TV entertainment show in 2000. When I first started, I just wanted to bring any & everything entertainment wise to the World Wide Web. I was enthralled the way the group THEE MIDNITERS made their title unique, apart, uncomprimising, and different from a 1950's group of the same name, so I became THEE Mr. DURAN. Nothing racially exceptional was ever intended, I just liked the way that sounded. I invited a caucasian group (whom I won't name) from L.A. to perform on my show, and they thought me uneducated & unworthy, telling their contact that they were uncomfortable coming on a Mexican guy's show who couldn't spell 'THE' correctly. After that, I knew a lot of people like them wouldn't get it, so I focused on the largest group that would...mi Gente. It's been a great experience ever since, and I'm having fun while promoting my people to the World, in a way nobody else has before."

Thee Mr. Duran Show has promoted many a current and rising Chicano star, starting off with a then almost unknown comedian named George Lopez. Since then, he has exposed the World to such great Chicano entertainment acts as TIERRA, The EAST L.A. REVUE All STAR BAND, SATISFACTION, ROCKY PADILLA, REDBONE, The JUMPIN' JACK BENNY Blues Band, Actors Edward James Olmos, Emilio Rivera, and Rudy Moreno, boxers Oscar De La Hoya & Fernando Vargas, among others, including yours truly, and Texas Internet Radio DJ Crazy Chuy Hernandez.

Born & raised in El Paso, Texas, Richard Duran came out west to Los Angeles when he was the ripe old age of 14. His first exposure to west coast Chicano music came in 1967, when he attended a concert of Thee Midniters at the Golden Gate Theatre in East L.A. "After that, I was hooked on Chicano rock and roll!" Rick says. "And now, I get to show people all over the World what we're made of. With the help of the lovely Joanna Salas and Tina Jimenez, along with mi camarada Rey Garza, the show is going on 5 years come this November. These people are significant not only because they're a big part of the show, but when I had to leave the show for 4 months due to heart surgery, they kept it going. That kind of commitment you don't find everyday. They are friends I am truly grateful for".

And enough cannot be said about his biggest fan and supporter, his wife Pat. A lovely lady indeed, I have had the pleasure of meeting her, and it's no wonder Thee Mr. Duran is so energetic and happy....brother got him a good Brown woman!

Richard Duran...Thee Mr. Duran...TV personality...promoter of Chicano entertainment to the entire world...my friend...CHICANO!

Orale, Carnal! Keep it alive forever! SI SE PUEDE!!

Note: Information on Thee Mr. Duran and Thee Mr. Duran Show, along with links to his show and the many talented Chicano acts he promotes, go to his website at:

www.mrduran.com

...and tell him you heard it from Frankie Firme!!

About Frankie Firme:
Frankie Firme spins the finest Chicano style Oldies but Goodies on the world wide web on www.kclafm.com and www.chicanoexpress.com
website: www.frankiefirme.50megs.com




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