The Playlist • Some Vintage Mexican and Tejano Favorites
(1906 – 1938)
Original Recordings from the Mainspring Press Collection
CARLOS CURTI’S MEXICAN ORCHESTRA: El Amor es la vida
New York; Released June 1906
American Record Co. 031367 (mx. not visible)
Mislabeled 031361. This was in a cache of American Record Co. discs found in Wyoming, and what a nice surprise it was to discover it’s really not 031361 (which is one of those sorry minstrel-show routines by White folks pretending to be Black).
TRIO ARRIAGA (Joaquin J. Arriaga, mandolin): Bolero (Curti)
Mexico City; U.S. release September 1910
Edison Amberol 6101
MAXIMIANO ROSALES: Maria, yo te amo
Probably Mexico City: 1906
Columbia C154 (mx. 5538 – 2)
Although some publications list this as a New York recording, Rosale’s recordings for other companies are known to have been made in Mexico City. Unfortunately, the original Columbia documentation for this series (which included both foreign and domestic recordings) has long-since vanished.
JESÚS ABREGO & LEOPOLDO PICAZO: La Rancherita
Mexico City; U.S. release February 1910
Edison Amberol 6058
ENRIQUE ESPINOZA: El Borrachito
Los Angeles: c. October 1925
Sunset 1126 (mx. 777)
LIDYA MENDOZA: Una cruz
San Antonio (Blue Bonnet Hotel): October 25, 1938
Montgomery Ward M-7982 (mx. BS 028629 – 1)
Acc: Own guitar; probably Maria Mendoza (mandolin); unknown (maracas). Accompanists are not listed in the RCA files.
LIDYA MENDOZA: Esperanza
San Antonio (Texas Hotel): October 22, 1936
Montgomery Ward M-7115 (mx. BS 02811 – 1)
Acc: Own guitar
MELQUIADES RODRÍGUEZ (as El Ciego Melquiades): Paulita
San Antonio (Texas Hotel): August 15, 1935
Montgomery Ward M-4870 (mx. BS 94591 – 1)
Acc: Probably Enrique Morales (guitar), who the RCA files credit on the vocal-instrumental sides that he and Rodríguez recorded on the same day. Session supervised by Eli Oberstein.
Victor’s 1930 Mexican-series catalog, published after the RCA – Victor merger. Material for the Mexican and Mexican-American markets was still being released on the 75¢ Victor label at this point; but in 1933, RCA began shifting most releases for those markets to its 35¢ Bluebird line, from which many found their way onto Montgomery Ward’s 21¢ house label.