Lydia Mendoza

Lydia Mendoza

A Family Autobiography

Book - 1993
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Blackwell North Amer
Lydia Mendoza made her first record while still a child in a make-shift recording studio in a San Antonio hotel room in 1928. Six years later, after the enormous hardship of migrant farm work, during the depths of the Great Depression, Lydia returned with her family to San Antonio to become a "star" when she recorded "Mal hombre" (Evil Man) as a solo singer accompanied only by her twelve-string guitar. Lydia Mendoza has endured much like the Carter Family has in American country music. She became known as "La Cancionera de los Pobres" (The Songstress of the Poor) but she did not limit her repertoire to the tastes of any one social group. Her songs and recordings appealed to almost all Mexican Americans and, due to the wide distribution of her records, Lydia's popularity spread throughout the Spanish-speaking regions of North and South America. Lydia, along with her sisters Maria and Juanita, recorded every type of song from stylish tangos and boleros, to the rancheras favored by cantina patrons which often speak of heartaches, treachery and deceit. The corridos she sang told of historical events, tragedies and heroes, both real and imagined.
In 1982, Lydia Mendoza was granted the National Heritage Award by the National Endowment for the Arts, and an archive in her honor was established at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Publisher: Houston, Tex. : Arte Público Press, 1993
ISBN: 9781558850651
Characteristics: xxi, 409 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Strachwitz, Chris
Nicolopulos, James


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