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

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Duke University Press, Oct 21, 2008 - Social Science - 383 pages
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DIVStretching 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./div

  

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Contents

Introduction The Mexican American Generation Music and Los Angeles
1
The Swing Era
12
Intercultural Style Politics
62
The Rhythm and Blues Era
118
The Rock and Roll Era
173
Latin Jazz the Mambo and Latin Holidays in Los Angeles
229
Conclusion Alternate Takes and Political Generations
281
Notes
291
Bibliography
347
Index
369
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

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Anthony Macías is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside.

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