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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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Tony De La Rosa, A Pioneer In The Popularization Of Conjunto Music.
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Tony de la Rosa
Apr 1, 1981

Tony de la Rosa, a pioneer in the popularization of Conjunto music.

Tony de la Rosa discusses his career as a conjunto musician and the difficulties he has encountered along the way. De la Rosa first explains that all conjunto musicians start out playing in catinas where they could advertise their band, reach new audiences and earn a little money. But the road to fame and success is long and hard, he explains, and he talks about the loneliness and alienation some musicians feel. He explains that even bands that do became famous experience regular disappointments, and he mentions several hardships he has experienced. He is currently working with other musicians to try and find a way to help the newer generations of musicians.

Like other Chicano musicians, de la Rosa first started playing music on his own and without formal instruction. He taught himself to play the accordion and eventually the guitar and later joined a country band. Inspired by polka music, de la Rosa again picked up the accordion and decided to make music his full time career. He then talks about how his music has changed over the years, and the different instruments he has adopted and helped popularize. He also discusses the differences between Tejano and Norteño music.


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

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