“Out in the West Texas town of El Paso,” Marty Robbins sang in his hit 1960 record El Paso, “I fell in love with a Mexican girl.”
The popular Tex-Mex corrido inspired Houston-born musician H.B. Barnum to tell his own story of lost love.
By John Edward Rangel
Smoking cannabis became a regular form of medication for me when I was 15 years old. That was in 1977. Back then the U.S.A. was still reeling from the Vietnam War, Watergate and something the media referred to as “The Generation Gap” (we called it arguing with our parents).
These were trying, confusing times (much like now), and for a teenaged Chicano in East L.A. who had to deal with the added effects of institutionalized rascism (big white cops called us “Pancho” and beat us with gusto) it was sometimes overwhelming. Getting numb helped me cope.
Almost every adult I knew medicated on something.
During the 1990s, when Luis Echeverría Álvarez was president of Mexico, technicians recorded a presentation of Mexicanos, al grito de guerra, the Mexican national anthem. In 2014, artist Iván Abreu “pressed” the anthem onto a 7-inch 45-RPM record made of ice. Listen before it melts! Or maybe listen WHILE it melts, starting about two minutes in.
In 1959, country singer Larry Bryant released a 45 celebrating his love of Tiquela & Mexican Beer. Music trade magazine Billboard called it “interesting” — not a good sign — and the record never made much of a splash.
But the original 45 (#101 — the first release?) on Santa Fe Records is a $25 collector’s item these days, so Bryant and friends were validated over 50 years later.
And even though his speeling is owlfull, we’re 100% in agreement with Larry’s high opinion of the aforementioned beverages, as well as his love for Mexican señoritas, tacos, tortillas and beans.
Teresa de Jesus Sandoval was named the champion at the Father’s Day habanero chile eating contest at Chichenitza in Downtown L.A. after scarfing down 53 of the the scorching peppers in 20 minutes.
PREVIOUSLY ON CHILES: