NPR : World Cafe

Latin Roots: San Antonio In The 1950s

San Antonio native Alejandro Escovedo co-hosts the latest installment of Latin Roots, in which he discusses the Latin character of his hometown's music since the 1950s. Escovedo's prolific rock music has always had strong Latin influences as a result of the time he spent listening to his parents' records. His dad played mariachi and his parents were also into rancheras, country and big-band music, all of which turn up to varying degrees in his solo work today.

Escovedo explains that ranchera is a Mexican country genre more aptly dubbed "cowboy music"; it's often sung on Western ranches. "Solamenta Una Vez" was his dad's favorite ranchera, and Escovedo says almost every Chicano family in the Southwest had the record. On his new album, Big Station, he covers "Sabor A Mi," a favorite song that his dad used to play when the family was doing well. Hear both of those songs as part of today's Latin Roots installment, and check out more in the Spotify playlist below. Escovedo also plays some of his new songs in today's regular World Cafe session.

Listen to Alejandro Escovedo's essential San Antonio playlist on Spotify.

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