Saturday, May 03, 2014

Country Club 38: the San Antonio National Anthem

For this weeks Country Club, something on the Hispanic-Country connection seems appropriate with Cinco de Mayo approaching in a few days.  The most obvious selection would be the great Freddy Fender already featured in Country Club #10. Fender was part of the supergroup Texas Tornados.  Doug Sahm introduces "Hey Baby Que Paso" as the San Antonio national anthem, which recalls the Negro National Anthem, the bebop national anthem, and the 2006 controversy over a Spanish version of the Star Spangled Banner.

Country music, though we don't usually think of it that way, is multicultural.  It isn't just the music of the Scots-Irish of Appalachia.  The influence of African-American blues has to be recognized and it often is.  But let's remember the contributions of German and Czech music--where do you think those accordions came from.  The Tennessee Waltz was written by a Polish American from Wisconsin!.

Traditional Mexican tunes entered the repertoire of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys and  became country standards: the Maiden's Prayer (which actually comes from a Polish piano piece) and the (New) Spanish Two Step. Both the Tex-Mex and Tejano music styles have incorporated country with other sounds, though both have appealed primarily  to Mexican-Americans.

What will the growth of America's Hispanic population mean for the future of country music? 

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