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The Texas Tornados and Conjunto

The Texas Tornados are one of the most important bands in the history of Tex-Mex (aka Tejano or conjunto) music. The band consisted of Freddy Fender (“Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights”), Flaco (“The Father of Conjunto Music”), Augie Meyers and Dough Sahm. All had some crossover success. For instance, Jiménez performed with The Rolling Stones and Dwight Yoakam and Meyers with The Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan.

The creative tension — or, perhaps, just plain tension — of catering to audiences of different languages was a big part of the group’s story:

People sometimes refer to their lyrics as Spanglish because of the mixture of English and Spanish in the same song, in addition to pronouncing the Spanish lyrics in an American accent, which is evident in their hit, “(Hey Baby) Que Paso”. An example is the lyric “Don’t you know I love you / and my corazón is real?”, in which the word corazón (Spanish for “heart”) is improperly pronounced /ˌkɔːrəˈsoʊn/, with an obvious American accent, instead of [koɾaˈson]. The band’s self-titled debut album was offered in Spanish and English-language versions.

Tejano has a lot of influences, according to Discogs:

Origins Europeans from Germany (first during Spanish time and 1830s), Poland, and what is now the Czech Republic migrated to Texas and Mexico, bringing with them their style of music and dance. They brought with them the waltz, polkas and other popular forms of music and dance. However it was not until the Mexican Revolution (1910–1917) that forced many of these Europeans to flee Mexico and into South Texas, that their musical influence was to have a major impact on Tejanos.

The write up is interesting and names the most important bands and performers.

Above is Hey Baby, Que Paso? and below is Adios Mexico.


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