Lalo Guerrero And The Chicano Movement

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Lalo Guerrero was one of the first pioneers in the Chicano music industry. Guerrero offered the barrios a voice by incorporating their vitality, anguish, and humor into songs that helped Mexicans in the Southwest recognize their shared identity. He personified the fundamental humanity of the barrios over a career that “spanned la Crisis of the 1930s, the Zoot Suit Riots of the 1940s, and the Chicano Movement of the 1960s” (Sheridan, 298). Guerrero turned his observations into songs that reached millions of listeners. His songs were personally filled with emotion, enough to make the listeners relate to the story being told. From the words of Lalo Guerrero himself: “In 1959, I wrote a song about a Martian who came to Earth to clear up certain misunderstandings about Mars” (Guerrero, Preface xi). This was a direct analogy to the life of Mexicans at this time, where the Martian describes the Mexicans, Mars describes Mexico, and Earth is …show more content…

Due to the emergent nature of social movements in these times, new kinds of social action were practiced in settings made possible by media, more specifically music. These social movements helped to change cultural traditions by fusing political and expressive tools. Examples of the Chicano Movement's songs of resistance include those that incorporated historical themes, liberation-related lyrics, and an increasingly globalized Chicano worldview (Azcona, 8). Furthermore, in the 60s, there were these musical groups, Cannibal and the Headhunters and Thee Midniters, who were very famous and played in venues that no Chicano entertainer had played before. Both of these groups were rock ‘n’ roll bands that swept the nation off of its feet. Thee Midniters had a song that honored the Chicano Movement (“Chicano Power”) and a song “in recognition of the leader’s role in improving the lot of farmworkers across the Southwest” (“César Chávez”) (Tatum, ebook

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