The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #107285 Message #2223171
Posted By: GUEST,Scoville (out of town)
27-Dec-07 - 09:43 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Lydia Mendoza, tejano star (Dec 2007)
Subject: Obit: Lydia Mendoza, tejano star
I almost missed this.
Lydia Mendoza, the "Lark of the Border", tejano music pioneer, died at the age of 91.
Tejano music pioneer Lydia Mendoza dies at 91
Born in Houston, the singer known as the 'Lark of the Border' was one of the first Mexican-American crossover superstars
SAN ANTONIO — Lydia Mendoza, a Tejano music pioneer known as "The Lark of the Border," has died. She was 91.
Mendoza, who retired and moved from Houston to San Antonio in 1988 after a series of strokes, died Thursday of natural causes at the Nix Medical Center.
Mendoza scored her first big hit, Mal Hombre (Evil Man), in the 1930s and became one of the era's first Mexican-American superstars by singing to the poor and downtrodden.
"She was the first and only real voice of Mexican-Americans," said Arhoolie Records owner Chris Strachwitz, who co-wrote an autobiography of the Mendoza family for Arte Publico Press.
"People always told me that Lydia sang to every class. She sang to the poor, and the wealthy loved her too."
Her memorable musical style earned her a National Medal of the Arts and a National Heritage Award fellowship. She was also asked to sing at Jimmy Carter's inauguration in 1977.
Mendoza recorded more than 200 songs on more than 50 albums, including boleros, rancheras, cumbias and tangos for such labels as RCA, Columbia, Azteca, Peerless, El Zarape and Discos Falcon. In addition to pursuing a solo career, she also enjoyed performing with her family.
Mal Hombre, released in 1934 on the Bluebird label, became a hit on both sides of the border and was her signature song. Other hits included La Valentina and Angel de Mis Anhelos.
Born in Houston, Mendoza learned to sing and play the 12-string guitar before she was 12, and later learned to play violin and mandolin.
Mendoza, a guest of honor at a 2006 tribute concert in San Antonio, was inducted into the Tejano Music Awards, Tejano Conjunto Festival and Texas Women halls of fame.
She is survived by her daughter, Yolanda Hernandez. She was preceded in death by two daughters, Lydia Alvarado Davila and Leonor Salazar.
A funeral Mass will be held Thursday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.