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The Source: Los Lobos - From The Barrio To Stardom

University of Texas Press http://bit.ly/2hNX8n5
Photo of Los Lobos from the cover of Chris Morris' biography "Los Lobos: Dream In Blue," published September 2015.

The music of Los Lobos blasted onto the national airwaves in 1987, when their remake of “La Bamba” became a No. 1 smash hit. For many, Los Lobos appeared to be an overnight sensation. But the East L.A. band already had a loyal following in San Antonio.

What new fans weren’t aware of was that Los Lobos had already undergone a long musical odyssey that began in 1973 when Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano, David Hidalgo, Louie Pérez came together to learn and perform traditional Mexican folk music.

Later, with Steve Berlin joining the band, Los Lobos found commercial success. The musicians began devouring virtually the entire breadth of modern American popular music, from rockabilly to primal punk rock, R&B to country and folk. Los Lobos combined that catalog with Mexican son jarocho, Tex-Mex conjunto and Latin American cumbia.

Along the way Los Lobos has sold millions of albums and won acclaim from fans and critics alike. They have three Grammy Awards to prove it.



Music journalist Chris Morris says he “tripped over” Los Lobos and witnessed their early days gigging around L.A. including the infamous night they were booed off the stage by angry punk rockers when Los Lobos was opening for Johnny Lydon (Former Sex Pistols) and Public Image Ltd.

Morris recounts the evolution of the music of Los Lobos. He describes the genesis of each album including How Will the Wolf Survive?La Pistola y El Corazon, and Kiko.

Morris is also actively lobbying for Los Lobos to be recognized for their due place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Update: The group was nominated in 2016, but not inducted.)


Guest: Chris Morris, music writer and author of the biography "Los Lobos: Dream In Blue"

Los Lobos at the White House for Fiesta Latina in 2009:

*This is a re-mixed version of a show that originally aired December 23, 2015.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi