Lydia Mendoza's Life in Music/La Historia De Lydia Mendoza

Lydia Mendoza's Life in Music/La Historia De Lydia Mendoza : Norteno Tejano Legacies

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Lydia Mendoza began her legendary musical career as a child in the 1920s, singing for pennies and nickels on the streets of downtown San Antonio. She lived most of her adult life in Houston, Texas, where she was born. The life story of this Chicana icon encompasses a 60-year singing career that began with the dawn of the recording industry in the 1920s and continued well into the 1980s, ceasing only after she suffered a devastating stroke. Her status as a working-class idol continues to this day, making her one of the most prominent and long-standing performers in the history of the recording industry and a champion of Chicana/o music. This bilingual edition presents Lydia Mendoza's historia in an interview between the artist and Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez: first is the English translation, then the Spanish original, as told by Mendoza herself. Broyles-Gonzalez concludes the volume with an extended essay on the significance of Mendoza's career and her place in Tejana music and Chicana studies.Known as a lone artist and performer, Lydia Mendoza's voice and twelve-string guitar-playing figure prominently in her ability to both nurture and transmit the vast oral tradition of popular Mexican song with beauty and integrity. She sang the songs of the people across generations in the old tradition; all are indigenous to the Americas, and many of them to Texas. It is the music that emerged from the experiences of native peoples (on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border) within the colonial context of the nineteenth century. Mendoza's prominence and stature as a Chicana idol stems from her sustained presence and perpetual visibility within a complex network of social and cultural relations in the twentieth century. Along with being one of the earliest female recording and touring artists, she is loved as a voice of working-class sentimiento, sentiment and sentience, through song, which is one of the most cherished of Chicana/o cultural art forms. Through her vast repertoire and unmistakable interpretive skill in the shaping of songs she is a living embodiment of U.S.-Mexican culture and a participant in raza people's protracted struggles for survival.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152.9 x 230.1 x 20.6mm | 412.78g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0195161831
  • 9780195161830

About Lydia Mendoza

Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez is jointly Professor of Chicano Studies and Affiliate Professor of German Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her publications include Re-emerging Native Women of the Americas: Native Chicana Latina Women's Studies (2001) and El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement (1994)."show more

Review quote

"A valuable document...centers around women's issues and spirituality in the life of Lydia Mendoza, indisputably the most popular Mexican-American female soloist of the 20th century." --Notes"The book provides interesting glimpses into the life of Lydia Mendoza, and the CD of her performances is warmly welcomed."--British Journal of Ethnomusicology"[H]ighly original....this work provides an important contribution to the literature on women musicians' oral narratives. The sound quality of the attached CD, an invaluable sonic document, is very good."--the world of music 44(2) - 2002"Written in Spanish and English, Broyles-Gonzalez's book offers an innovative format and style that highlights Lydia Mendoza as principal narrator. Reading this book is like having an intimate conversation with Lydia Mendoza herself. She speaks candidly on a number of personal issues including the sources of her faith, her family life and her philosophy on life. These vivid vignettes provide a fascinating glimpse into the cultural ambiance in which this musical legend carved out her career.To complete this book, Broyles-Gonzalez skillfully crafts a compelling analysis that contextualizes and amplifies Mendoza's historia. This extraordinary book will prove invaluable to fans and scholars alike." --Professor Olga Najera-Ramirez, University of California at Santa Cruz"The great Norteno singer Lydia Mendoza is as important to the history of music as Hank Williams, Janis Joplin, or James Brown, and she deserves to be as well known as they are. Now perhaps she will be, thanks to this wonderful and innovative book. Mendoza's fascinating testimony about her life experiences illuminates the career of an extraordinary artist, and Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez's astute analysis superbly locates Mendoza's story within the larger context of Chicana and Mexicana culture, history, and spirituality." --George Lipsitz, author of Time Passages and Dangerous CrossroadsThis is the genuine Lydia Mendoza speaking, in all her straight-from-the-heart-eloquence, whether in her native Spanish or in Broyles-Gonzalez' sensitive translation. Broyles-Gonzalez allows the great American folksinger to tell her own story, and the result is a stirring narrative that is both personal and collective. The legendary performer's struggles and successes parallel those of her people, and her story stands as testimonial not only to Mendoza's faith and artistic genius, but to the public that recognized her gift and proclaimed her as its artistic voice--"la cancionera de los pobres" ("singer of the poor"). --Manuel Pena, California State University at Fresno, and author of Musica Tejana"Those familiar with Lydia Mendoza's history-making musical career will cherish the front-and-center personal narrative of her life and career in this work. Those who would discover her for the first time surely will become admirers of her earthy force of character that comes to the fore in her music, persona, and professional triumph." --Daniel Sheehy, Smithsonian Institution"show more

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