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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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PROGRAM INFO

Title:
Leonardo Jimenez, Conjunto Musician
Program #
1981-33
Theme:
Culture

Series:
Music
Host:
Linda Fregoso
Guest:
Leonardo "Flaco" Jimenez
Date:
Jun 25, 1981

Leonardo Jimenez, Conjunto musician

Leonardo “Flaco” Jimenez discusses his career as a conjunto musician in South Texas and his efforts to reach larger audiences. Host Linda Fregoso first offers a brief history of conjunto music and its origins in the Mexican working class and the musical styles of the French and German immigrants who settled in Texas. She then speaks with Jimenez about how he got started playing conjunto music. Jimenez, whose father was the famed accordionist Don Santiago Jimenez, started teaching himself how to play the guitar and then the accordion when he was still a child. By the age of ten, he was accompanying his father at some of his gigs, and when he was 15 he started his own band. Jimenez explains that in these early years the recording industry was hesitant to promote conjunto music because they associated it with the lower classes and did not think it would sell, but that has changed as conjunto music’s popularity has exploded. Throughout his career, Jimenez has played with several popular musicians, including Bob Dylan and Ry Cooder, and he appeared with the latter on Saturday Night Live. Jimenez then discusses his interest in expanding his audience and how he alters his music when he plays for Anglos. Jimenez has also appeared in several films and recorded songs for soundtracks. He concludes that he plays for the people and that he will never fully quit the music industry.

 

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

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