PBS’s Latin Music USA/The Chicano Wave… great overview of La Onda but with one GLARING error…

Click on the image to view the video

Click on the image to view the video

If you saw the blog I posted of the video promo for this series, I mentioned that I wondered if La Onda would be portrayed accurately. I have to say that I was surprised that Tejano got as much coverage as it did (I figured it would just get a little bit of a mention like Durengense did) , and of course with so many genres being covered , you cannot mention everyone who played a major role in a genre’s history. The segment about Little Joe was fascinating as was Flaco’s segment, both were very insightful. Then they skip all the way to Selena in the late 1980s. As Selena is being introduced a statement is being made that “Tejano had become hugely popular in the Southwest” (with no mention as to how it got so popular). Don’t get me wrong , I loved Selena. She is an icon and deserves all the accolades she gets, and the recognition for her accomplishments which were plenty, and one cannot cover Tejano History without covering Selena. The problem that I have with the way Tejano History of the 1990s has been written is that articles with some inaccuracies that were written in the aftermath of her death are treated as historical documents ( and used as reference matieral), giving her credit for ushering in the “Glory Days of the 90s” and “opening the door” to Mexico for everyone else, credit that belongs to her dear friends La Mafia. credit that belongs to THE band who took her under their wings at the age of 12 and packaged her with themselves to open shows for them .     This travesty has been going on for almost 15 years, as inaccurate quotes from those articles continue to be requoted year after year, and PBS fell into the same trap.   Their research seems to be pretty accurate for everything else, but oh man, they show a 15 second blurb of La Mafia’s “Nadie” video , w/o even a caption showing their name (of course , to most Latin Music fans they need no introduction)  and as it is showing that blurb the narration states: “As Selena’s star rose the Tejano Music Scene exploded” as if  all the credit for that explosion belongs solely to her.  Then it makes it sound like she was responsible for the big labels coming in, (they were already there otherwise Jose Behar would not have been at that TTMA award show) , and states that “every band had a new bus, new outfits, light shows etc….  ( La Mafia had been the first Tejano band to put on rock style shows complete with pyrotetics way back in the 80s).  The narration continues to say that overnight that Tejano Music was becoming the “Next Big Thing” with “Selena at the helm”, there may be some truth ,  she may have been at the helm with La Mafia as she was running neck and neck with them on the Billboard Charts, BUT she had yet to surpass them in sales, that did not occur until after her tragic death.

I will go into more depth in a later blog about Selena and La Mafia.

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