Tejano Music Radio

Valerio Longovia

If you don't hear Tejano music on the radio,does it exist?

By Belinda Acosta,Fri.,Feb. 17,2006

Valerio Longovia

Photo By John Dyer

When Austin's last Tejano radio station,KTXZ 1560AM,went off the air last October,there was a splatter of ink about it in the local press. The pieces ranged from measured obituaries to screeching demands like Julian Limon Fernandez's,which ran not once,but twice in Arriba Newspaper last December:

"Shame on you Univision and Border Music Productions! We are Tejanos and demand to be treated with respect!"

Dispassionate notices,raw anger – the truth rarely lies in the margins. Rather,it hides somewhere in the middle. Here's some of both.

The Honorary Chicano

Some say it was Chris Strachwitz's 1976 film Chulas Fronteras that first brought Tejano music and culture to a wider audience. Not that there hadn't been others. Before Chulas Fronteras,scholars like Oscar Lewis wrote scathing edicts about the pathology of being a mutt – neither Mexican nor American.

Instead,Chulas Frontera,like that famous fight scene from the movie Giant,spoke volumes about the Mexican-American experience in South Texas with few words. Strachwitz did something unheard of: He let Tejanos speak for themselves. Amazingly – considering the current state of our mediated culture – his gaze was deferential,unflinching,but not romanticizing.

Ultimately,Chulas Fronteras was about the music. It spoke to Strachwitz. Maybe not in the same way it spoke to Tejanos,but he felt that bite in his corazón,that yank of his tripas,or whatever it is that music seizes to create that harmonious flood of body,mind,and soul. Like being in love,it's intangible but undeniable.

Can Chris Strachwitz throw a grito? Can he barbecue cabrito? Does menudo cure his hangover? No importa. He met,and – this is important – he respected those musicians,those small-town deejays,those mom-and-pop record-label owners,and the others who didn't let the fact that their music didn't play on commercial radio stations convince them they didn't exist. Strachwitz met some of our musical antepasados and addressed them with respect. Just like we did.

Sunny OzunabrPhoto courtesy of Hector Galan
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2011-05-31 05:59:00 by -

AN OPEN LETTER TO 'CAGE THE ELEPHANT'

Dear CTE,I have no intention of starting any sort of flame war with your fans or yourselves, as I presume that you are all ordinarily intelligent people able to function in society. There is an element of subjectivity in any review, and in recognition of that I'm not going to throw a bunch of stylistic terms and critical references around. Well, not as a main point. Sometimes I can't help myself. What I will provide is a personal plea.PLEASE CEASE YOUR EXISTENCE AS A BAND.Sounds, harsh, I understand, but I'm serious. Please listen. I first heard your band on the radio. Now, I'm not normally a radio listener

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