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Folklore: Texas-Mexican Border Broadsides

Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jan 09 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 18 Jan 09 - 06:09 AM
Art Thieme 18 Jan 09 - 10:15 PM
Art Thieme 18 Jan 09 - 10:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Jan 09 - 10:51 PM
Acme 19 Jan 09 - 12:05 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Texas-Mexican Border Broadsides
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 12:02 AM

In the period 1900-1940 (and perhaps over a much longer period), broadsides, corridos, commemorating bandits, murders, insurrections, police brutality and other events were composed and sold for pennies in the Texas-Mexico Border region. Others were produced all through Latin America.
I had seen some when I was a student in Texas, and was reminded of them by a J. Frank Dobie article in Jour. American Folklore. He reproduces a handful, with these titles:
-Poesía pronunciada por Ismael de la Cerna, Momentos antes de ser Fulisado en Guatemala.
-Asesinato de Francisco Villa, acaecida en Parral, Chihuahua, el 19 de Julio de 1923.
-Tragica Muerte del Niño Epifanio Salazar.
-El Cancion del Rancho de Los Olmos.
The last three were printed in Brownsville, Texas.
JAFL, vol. 36, no. 140, pp. 185-191 and pp. 192-195.

Probably few survived, but they are a reminder that broadsides were not confined to UK, and Anglo printers in North America.

Scarborough, in "A Songcatcher in the Southern Mountains," speaks of seeing well-worn broadsides in the hands of one of her informants.

Many were produced, but very few survive.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Texas-Mexican Border Broadsides
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:09 AM

As a longtime lover of Mexican corridos AND of Anglo-American broadside ballads, this news interests me. I suspect the more we look, the more we'd find that all, or most all ballad traditions, like those of Britain, the United States and Mexico, got a big boost from printing as soon as the press became widely available.

Broadsides were the most far-reaching type of printed ballads, being bought for pennies (or centavos?) and taken home, passed around, learned and sung by an increasingly literate population -- mostly urban, though some broadsides were hawked in rural areas as well. Ballads were occasionally distributed in other printed forms too -- as printers' samples, as fillers in newspapers, and so on.

And so an oral form turned into a printed one, making possible rapid, widespread distribution of those ballads of the Mexican revolution as well as many others -- any song that made a good story was fair game. The parallel effect was that strictly oral circulation began to decline, and became less of a factor as ballads went into print and achieved, or originated as, standardized versions.

There are good book-length studies of the Anglo-American broadside ballad, but as far as I know none that are cross-cultural. A comparative history of broadsides in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Slavic, Turkish, you name it -- that would be an interesting study. Bob


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Texas-Mexican Border Broadsides
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 10:15 PM

I know the University Of Illinois Press did at least one book--probably more--on the subject. Judy McCulloh was editor then.

Good luck.----The name Amerigo Paredes just popped into my mind as a possible author---but it's a vague memory...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Texas-Mexican Border Broadsides
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 10:33 PM

And also the University of Texas where he worked I think. I connect him with a corrido about Gregorio Cortez. A work titled With A Six-gun In His Hand.


Search and you shall find.
Art again


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Texas-Mexican Border Broadsides
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 10:51 PM

That hit it on the head- Americo Paredes, A Texas-Mexican Cancionero, Folksongs of the Lower Border. Univ. Illinois Press.

"Uncle Remus con Chile" is a title of his I must order!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Texas-Mexican Border Broadsides
From: Acme
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:05 AM

The University of Texas at Austin is a good place to look, but also in Special Collections at the University of Texas at Arlington. They have a very large Texana collection.

Visit UTA Library and you can go to the catalog and enter the name or keywords of an item. Or you could poke around in Special Collections--some of the finding aids, in particular, might be useful.

SRS


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