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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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Valerio Longoria, Accordion Genius
Program #

Linda Fregoso
Valerio Longoria
May 1, 1981

Valerio Longoria, accordion genius

Musician, Valerio Longoria, discusses his career in Tejano music and his experiences in the recording industry. He first discusses how he got started in music and his efforts to teach himself the accordion and the guitar as a child by listening to other musicians. He also talks about the influence of Narciso Martinez on his style. Longoria then discusses his time in Germany, where he lived during World War II and was amazed by the German accordion music.

After the war, Longoria returned to San Antonio, where he played at various local dances and cantinas. He developed a large rural following, and he talks about traveling throughout the state in the post war years, when accordion music was becoming increasingly popular. In 1947, he made his first album, but lackluster sales convinced him to move to Chicago, where he stayed for several years. Longoria also discusses his tumultuous relations with women.

When Longoria returned to Texas, he found that several new Tejano groups were playing his music and becoming big hits. Longoria explains that he is not bitter but is happy that people have learned something from him. Longoria’s music is played throughout the episode.


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

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