If you want a great survey of Chicano music, go out and buy
"The Chicano Alliance" CD. It's a collection
of 36 songs by 30 artists put together by Edward Contreras
and released on his R-Town Records. This two CD set
has songs by artists such as Tierra, El Chicano, Malo, Little
Joe y la Familia, and two tracks by yours truly. My
songs are "Rosalie," which was written and recorded
in 1982, and "On the Boulevard," written in 1979
and recorded in 1988. This album has some old and some
new recordings in many styles and genres, which is what Chicano
music is all about. It's music created by Chicanos who
are as diverse as our different tastes and influences.
For example, there is a track by salsa legend Johnny Martinez,
country music artist Gabe Nieto, blues singer Randy Garibay,
r&b and Latin influenced female vocalist Geree, and a
trio in the great Mexican tradition, Los Suspiros, who do
a version of my dad, Lalo Guerrero's standard "Nunca
Jamas." This collectible CD even has a recent recording
by Rosie and the Originals, whose legendary "Angel Baby"
is an all-time oldies/low rider classic.
all this isn't enough, your purchase of "The Chicano
Alliance" CD will provide financial support to the Chicano
Alliance Network, Para Los Niños, and the Quezalcoatl Memorial
Scholarship. The Chicano Alliance Network (CAN) is a
national group promoting Mexican-American unity, it supports
and sponsors positive endeavors by Chicanos as they move into
the American mainstream culture. In addition, CAN's
goal is to raise the consciousness of our younger generations
by making them aware of the many positive role models and
successful leaders from the Chicano/Latino community.
CAN has attracted the interest and support of many prominent
entertainers, educators and business people such as national
spokesperson, Grammy Award winner "Little Joe" Hernandez.
"Little Joe," of the aforementioned Little Joe y
la Familia, is one of the pioneers of Tejano music.
He's worked with the likes of Willie Nelson and has a Grammy
award to his credit.
Los Niños, founded in 1980, is a non-profit family support
center designed to raise at-risk children out of poverty through
positive educational opportunities and support involving families
and communities. Each weekday they serve more than 600
children, ages six weeks to 18 years, through child care,
after school programs, youth intervention programs, crisis
nursery, counseling, career exposure, recreational activities
and more. In addition, they provide support services
to more than 2,000 families every year. The Quezalcoatl
Memorial Scholarship is the creation of radio personality
Daniel "Sancho" Castro. It is a non-profit
foundation whose sole purpose is to further the educational
achievement of the Chicano community. "Sancho"
has earned a PhD. and as an educator has witnessed the empowerment
which a university diploma offers to those who commit to higher
education. He also notes that our community is in need
of university trained leadership in order to be more prominently
involved in government and business. However, many of
our people lack the economic resources to continue their education
and this is where the "Quezalcoatl Memorial Scholarship"
has stepped in to help.
"The Chicano Alliance" CD is no longer officially
available. It was released in 1998, the year the article
above was written and posted on my website. You might
find it used on line or at some record show or record store
that has used CDs, but it would probably take a great deal
of luck at this point. If you do find it, you'll own
a piece of Chicano musical history. Fortunately, I found
some on line at the link above at amazon.com. They may
come and go there, but worth checking.