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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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La Camelia
Program #

Rosa-Linda Fregoso
Carmen Tafolla
Dec 1, 1980

La Camelia

Rosa-Linda Fregoso discusses the corrido, “Contrabando y Traición,” with Carmen Tafolla, an instructor at the University of Texas, and speaks with several Chicanos about its popularity. Fregoso first retells the fictional story behind the corrido, which centers on La Camelia who helps save her boyfriend, a drug trafficker, and then kills him when he tries to leave her for another woman. Fregoso speaks with Tafolla about the history of corridos and the ways in which they reflect changing social values. Tafolla explains that the song is so popular because La Camelia is a very real character and she belongs to the Chicano community. Fregoso then speaks with several Chicanos who discuss why the song is popular and analyze her story.

Tafolla next discusses several sequel corridos and how audiences have responded. Tafolla also explains that the song is popular with Chicanos because they recognize the reality of drug trafficking and its heavy toll on the community. Ultimately, she concludes it is the song’s realism that makes it so compelling.


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

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