The Power of Tejano Music-Home Grown and Full of Soul

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The Power of Tejano Music: Home Grown and Full of Soul

by Erika Gonzalez

“Texas” comes from the Hasinai word táysha, meaning “friend.”  The Hasinai Confederation is part of the Caddo Nation Native American tribe from East Texas.  The Caddo were one of the hundreds of different tribes that first inhabited the Texas – Mexico region.   

Today, many Tejanos trace their roots to the indigenous Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and African cultures.  A Tejano is more commonly known as a Texan of Mexican heritage with a history that goes back even to a time where Texas land was Mexican land.  Mexican musicians in the Texas region used music as storytelling during the Mexican Revolution.  Their music spoke of resistance and highlighted heroes such as Emiliano Zapata and Adelita, two freedom fighters along the Texas-Mexico borderlands.   

When Texas became a state, many Mexicanos were forced to give up land, move to Mexico, or assimilate as a “Mexican – American.”  With this came the birth of Tejano music – a music genre that helped Mexican-Americans living in Texas find their own artistic identity at a time where racial tensions were still very much a presence in every region in Texas.   

South Texas, having the closest proximity to Mexico became the birthplace of Tejano Music with Alice, Texas being the first Texas city to ever record a Tejano album in the mid 1940’s.   

Tejano music has evolved from stories told during the Mexican Revolution, to polkas and waltzes, to songs highlighting the Chicano Movement of the 1960’s, to love ballads and mixtures of rock, traditional Mexican music, country, jazz and R&B. 

In this playlist, you will find classic Tejano songs from the industry’s most recognized Tejano artists such as Little Joe, Laura Canales, Selena, and Ruben Ramos 

The mix starts off with Little Joe’s song “Las Nubes,” in English meaning “The Clouds,” which is considered the official Tejano National Anthem.  This song is about the struggle of the Tejano farm worker earning little pay for hard labor and at the point of giving up.  Little Joe sings about the Tejano farm worker feeling that crying can turn into laughter and laughter can turn into singing.  The singing then brings on the clouds that start producing rain.  In the song, Little Joe sings about the struggle of the Tejano farm worker resorting to drinking when it seems like the world is falling apart.  He sends a message to all Tejanos saying not to let drinking alcohol become a vice because the clouds bring rain from the ocean that cleanses the spirit.  

Later in the mix, we hear the fusion of jazz and R&B from the legendary Latin Breed and two songs from David Lee Garza y Los MusicalesDavid Lee Garza’s “Ojo de Vidrio” features Eagle Pass singer, Oscar G. and “Poquito a Poco” features San Antonio native Jay Perez.  It is important to note that David Lee Garza y Los Musicales’s five lead singers in the past twenty years have all created their own successful solo careers as Tejano artists including Oscar G, Jay Perez, Emilio Navairra, Ram Herrera, and Marcos Orozco. 

A Tejano music mix cannot be complete without including music from el grupo Mazz. We highlight two of Mazz’s famous songs, “Calla” and “Prieta Linda” – two romantic ballads that resonate in all Tejano music lover’s heartbeats. 

The late Selena Quintanilla, known as the young Queen of Tejano music, next to the late elder Lydia Mendoza, is featured in this mix with her songs “Amor Prohibido” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.”  Selena Quintanilla is a historical figure in Tejano music industry.  She paved the way for the future of female Tejana artists, the mixture of the English language, hip hop beats, and female fashion.   

We hope you enjoy this first feature of Tejano music.  Let the music remind you that Texas is a state whose history comes from people native to the land, who resisted by documenting their stories of survival and hardship through music – a music genre that is still very much alive and well all over Texas, Mexico, and many US States. 

Today’s 25 Joints to Get U Thru The Day is brought to by Austin based DJ Mixtzin (www.djmixtzin) with assitance from Edie Rodriguez who does the incredible website and Erika Gonzalez of PODER

The link to the podcast is here..

01-Little Joe Y La Familia ‘Las Nubes’

02-Laura Canales ‘Dile a Tu Esposa’

03-Laura Canales ‘Cuatra Caminos’

04-Latin Breed ‘Reunion Medley’

05-David Lee Garza ‘Ojo De Vidrio’

06-David Lee Garza ‘Poquito a Poco’

07-Jay Perez ‘Lo Que Yo Tengo’

08-Mazz ‘Calla’

09-Mazz ‘Prieta Linda’

10-Ruben Ramos ‘Tejano’

11-Ruben Ramos Y Alfonso Ramos ‘Puno De Tierra’

12-Sunny and the Sunliners ‘Reyna De Mi Amor’

13-Agustin Ramirez ‘Sangre De Indio’

14-Agustin Ramirez ‘Que Chulita Estas’

15-Selena ‘Amor Prohibido’

16-Selena ‘Bidi Bidi Bom Bom’

17-Jay Perez ‘Eres Tu’

18-Emilio Navaira ‘Camo Le Hare’

19-Ramiro ‘Ram’ Herrera ‘Rosas Para Uno Rosa’

20-Intocable ‘No Te Vayas’

21-Gary Hobbs ‘Las Miradas’

22-La Movida ‘Te Quiero Mucho’

23-La Sombra ‘Eres Tu’

24-La Fiebra ‘Si Manana Viene O No

25-Roberto Puildo ‘Flecha Envenenada

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