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Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles

Author: Steven Loza

Publication date: 1993

Music In American Life Series

University of Illinois Press

“The hit movie La Bamba (based on the life of Richie Valens), the versatile singer Linda Ronstadt, and the popular rock group Los Lobos all have roots in the dynamic music of the Mexican-American community in East Los Angeles. With the recent "Eastside Renaissance" in the area, barrio music has taken on symbolic power throughout the Southwest, yet its story has remained undocumented and virtually untold. In Barrio Rhythm, Steven Loza brings this hidden history to life, demonstrating the music's essential role in the cultural development of East Los Angeles and its influence on mainstream popular culture.

Drawing from oral histories and other primary sources, as well as from appropriate representative songs, Loza provides a historical overview of the music from the nineteenth century to the present and offers in-depth profiles of nine Mexican-American artists, groups, and entrepreneurs in Southern California from the post-World War II era to the present. His interviews with many of today's most influential barrio musicians, including members of Los Lobos, Eddie Cano, Lalo Guerrero, and Willie Herrón, chronicle the cultural forces active in this complex urban community."

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