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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Little Joe And La Familia
Program #

Armando Gutiérrez
Armando Gutiérrez
Jun 6, 1978

Little Joe and La Familia

Host Armando Gutierrez discusses the career and music of Little Joe Hernandez. Gutierrez explains that Little Joe y La Familia is one of the most popular Chicano groups. Their music has been able to reach a national audience while still incorporating traditional roots of Chicano music as well as modern progressive developments. Little Joe was born in Texas and got his start in music with his cousin’s band, David Coronado and the Latinaires in 1959. Four years later, his cousin left the group, and Little Joe took over. Several of his songs from this period, including Por una Mujer Casada and Anoche Estuve Llorando, continue to among his most popular.

In 1970, the group changed its name to Little Joe y la Familia, reflecting a larger emphasis on Chicano culture. In 1974, the band relocated to California in hope of breaking into the mainstream market. Their music from this period mirrors their desire to reach a new and different audience: some of the songs are in English, and the music became less dance-oriented and more romantic.

By 1977, Little Joe had come to regret his move to California and returned to Texas and his musical roots. He became more involved in the Chicano movement. His performances and songs now incorporated political issues. Gutierrez concludes that Little Joe’s career reflects the larger Chicano experience.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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