Lydia Mendoza

Genres: World Music
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

21 May 1916, Houston, Texas, USA, d. 20 December 2007, San Antonio, Texas, USA. As a child, Mendoza sang and played violin with her parents and a sister, Francisca, in a group named by her father, Francisco, after a popular brand of beer: Cuarteto Carta Blanca. They performed for tips in the streets, at fairs and markets, as well as appearing in theatres. She also performed in a trio, Las Hermanas Mendoza, with two other sisters, Maria and Juanita. She made her first appearance on record in 1928 for OKeh Records. Although the family soon moved north, to Detroit, Michigan, they retained their links in Texas, recording there in the mid-30s.

By now, Mendoza was playing the guitar and it was during this decade that she made her first recording of ‘Mal Hombre’, a song that was not only a big hit, but also became associated with her forever afterwards. The record’s success led to more record dates through the late 30s; among songs...

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