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Listening to Rosita: The Business of Tejana Music and Culture, 1930-1955 (Race and Culture American West #9) (Hardcover)

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Everybody in the bar had to drop a quarter in the jukebox or be shamed by "Momo" Villarreal. It wasn't about the money, Mary Ann Villarreal's grandmother insisted. It was about the music--more songs for all the patrons of the Pecan Lounge in Tivoli, Texas. But for Mary Ann, whose schoolbooks those quarters bought, the money didn't hurt.

When as an adult Villarreal began to wonder how the few recordings of women singers made their way into that jukebox, questions about the money seemed inseparable from those about the music. In Listening to Rosita, Villarreal seeks answers by pursuing the story of a small group of Tejana singers and entrepreneurs in Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio--the "Texas Triangle"--during the mid-twentieth century. Ultimately she recovers a social world and cultural landscape in central south Texas where Mexican American women negotiated the shifting boundaries of race and economics to assert a public presence.

Drawing on oral history, interviews, and insights from ethnic and gender studies, Listening to Rosita provides a counternarrative to previous research on la m sica tejana, which has focused almost solely on musicians or musical genres. Villarreal instead chronicles women's roles and contributions to the music industry. In spotlighting the sixty-year singing career of San Antonian Rosita Fern ndez, the author pulls the curtain back on all the women whose names and stories have been glaringly absent from the ethnic and economic history of Tejana music and culture.

In this oral history of the Tejana cantantes who performed and owned businesses in the Texas Triangle, Listening to Rosita shows how ethnic Mexican entrepreneurs developed a unique identity in striving for success in a society that demeaned and segregated them. In telling their story, this book supplies a critical chapter long missing from the history of the West.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780806148526
ISBN-10: 0806148527
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Publication Date: October 27th, 2015
Pages: 216
Language: English
Series: Race and Culture American West
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Data Source: Ingram
Created At: 5/2/2015 06:03pm
Last Updated At: 5/8/2022 08:02am