I was sad to hear that San Diego and Barrio Logan Chicano icon Ramón “Chunky” Sanchez passed away Friday at the age of 65.
Born in 1951 in Blythe, California, Chunky learned to play music from his family, and lived his childhood as a migrant farmworker. He left the farm he worked with his father soon after hearing the owner tell his dad that Chunky would make a great foreman when he was gone.
He decided to go to college, and eventually landed at San Diego State. Chunky and his brother Ricardo’s band Los Alacranes Mojados were a fixture when I was a MEChista at San Diego State; I can’t tell you how many events they played for us and for the entire movimiento.
He was instrumental in famed 1970 Chicano Park takeover and founding of the now world-famous landscape of Chicano murals under the Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan.
The Alacranes song Chicano Park (below) chronicles this historic event.
Chunky worked tirelessly in the community for youth, and in 2013, he received the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowships, the U.S.’s highest honor in folk and traditional arts.
He is held in the highest honor and esteem in the Chicano community of San Diego and beyond.
QDEP y RIP, Chunky Sanchez
Ballad of the Pocho (Los Alarcanes):
Facundo the Great:
Chunky and Los Alcaranes:
Chicano Park Samba (Los Alarcanes):
Mexicano Americano (Los Alarcanes):
Corrido De Joaquin Murrietta (Los Alarcanes):
Chunky “In Memoriam” toon by JUNCO CANCHÉ
Photos courtesy the Chunky Sanchez “Singing My Way to Freedom” film Kickstarter