Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935–1968

Mexican American Mojo: Popular Music, Dance, and Urban Culture in Los Angeles, 1935–1968

by Anthony Macías
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0822343223

ISBN-13: 9780822343226

Pub. Date: 11/11/2008

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Stretching from the years during the Second World War when young couples jitterbugged across the dance floor at the Zenda Ballroom, through the early 1950s when honking tenor saxophones could be heard at the Angelus Hall, to the Spanish-language cosmopolitanism of the late 1950s and 1960s, Mexican American Mojo is a lively account of Mexican American urban

Overview

Stretching from the years during the Second World War when young couples jitterbugged across the dance floor at the Zenda Ballroom, through the early 1950s when honking tenor saxophones could be heard at the Angelus Hall, to the Spanish-language cosmopolitanism of the late 1950s and 1960s, Mexican American Mojo is a lively account of Mexican American urban culture in wartime and postwar Los Angeles as seen through the evolution of dance styles, nightlife, and, above all, popular music. Revealing the links between a vibrant Chicano music culture and postwar social and geographic mobility, Anthony Macías shows how by participating in jazz, the zoot suit phenomenon, car culture, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and Latin music, Mexican Americans not only rejected second-class citizenship and demeaning stereotypes, but also transformed Los Angeles.

Macías conducted numerous interviews for Mexican American Mojo, and the voices of little-known artists and fans fill its pages. In addition, more famous musicians such as Ritchie Valens and Lalo Guerrero are considered anew in relation to their contemporaries and the city. Macías examines language, fashion, and subcultures to trace the history of hip and cool in Los Angeles as well as the Chicano influence on urban culture. He argues that a grass-roots “multicultural urban civility” that challenged the attempted containment of Mexican Americans and African Americans emerged in the neighborhoods, schools, nightclubs, dance halls, and auditoriums of mid-twentieth-century Los Angeles. So take a little trip with Macías, via streetcar or freeway, to a time when Los Angeles had advanced public high school music programs, segregated musicians’ union locals, a highbrow municipal Bureau of Music, independent R & B labels, and robust rock and roll and Latin music scenes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822343226
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
11/11/2008
Series:
Refiguring American Music
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
408
Sales rank:
1,074,219
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction. The Mexican American Generation, Music, and Los Angeles 1

1. Mojo in Motion: The Swing Era 12

2. The Drape Shape: Intercultural Style Politics 62

3. Boogie Woogie Breakthrough: The Rhythm and Blues Era 118

4. Come On, Let's Go: The Rock and Roll Era 173

5. Con Sabor Latino: Latin Jazz, the Mambo, and Latin Holidays 229

Conclusion. Alternate Takes and Political Generations 281

Notes 291

Bibliography 347

Index 369

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