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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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Oscar Zamora, Chicano Ventriloquist
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Oscar Zamora
Jun 26, 1980

Oscar Zamora, Chicano Ventriloquist

In this interview conducted in Spanish, Oscar Zamora (and Don Chema his dummy) talks about his work as a ventriloquist and his variety show Sal y Pimienta. Zamora first became interested in ventriloquism as a child when he realized that he could throw his voice. Over time, and often in the classroom, he perfected the skill, and soon learned to alter the sound without moving his facial muscles.

His show Sal y Pimienta, a variety program on the Spanish International Network, features local artists and reaches audiences throughout South Texas, New Mexico and as far away as Chicago and New York. Zamora also talks about his work in night clubs and entertaining at benefits. His routine is in mostly Spanish but he sometimes mixes it with English. He explains that this code-switching is very prominent among Mexican-Americans and they like that it is part of the show. Zamora also talks a little about Don Chema’s appearance.

Zamora explains that the point of his show is to entertain, but they sometimes do serious themes. They often cover political events, which Don Chema then satirizes. He hopes to one day create a show for children, but for now he will continue doing local shows, filming a movie, and touring. He discusses an upcoming trip to Europe where he will entertain Mexican American soldiers stationed there. Throughout the episode, Don Chema interrupts with his own perspective and at one point they sing a song.


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

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