Skip Heller

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Lalo Guerrero, 1916-2005

One of the most prolific and beloved artists in California’s music history, singer-songwriter Edward “Lalo” Guerrero, died peacefully last week at a convalescent home in Rancho Mirage, not far from his Cathedral City house. Guerrero laid much of the groundwork for Mexican-American music with his 1940s trio, Los Carlistas, blending......
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Esquivel, 1918–2002

Pianist, bandleader, arranger and composer Juan Garcia Esquivel died on January 3 at his home in Morelos, Mexico, following a severe stroke. Esquivel’s music embodied the term “space-age bachelor-pad music,” and the 1994 Bar/None Records Esquivel anthology disc of the same title almost single-handedly launched the lounge-music boom of the......
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Country Countdown

Musicians often point out that nobody ever built a statue of a critic. Given what critics look like, this is okay. There are also precious few monuments sculpted in the likenesses of musicians. And none to those who relegate their own dreams to the back burner while acting in the......
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Julie London

Julie London, whose sultry vocals and provocative album covers established her as the ultimate torch-song sex symbol, died on October 18 of natural causes. Born Julie Peck in Santa Rosa, California, London was the daughter of a song-and-dance vaudeville team. When she was a teenager, the family moved to L.A.,......
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He’s an Angel

The New York Times recently ran an article titled “Chicano Radio’s Fading Signal,” which implied that Sancho’s cold-blooded ousting from KPCC earlier this year symbolized an era’s end. The 8-by-9-inch photo atop the article showed DJ Dick Hugg at the microphone. For 50 years, the honeyed baritone and puckish banter......
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Roll With Me, Sterling

Photo by Debra DiPaolo Rhythm & blues is always alive and well in Los Angeles, if you know where to look. While the glory days of the “chitlin circuit” — the Southern and East Coast cities where R&B artists toured ceaselessly — are over, L.A. still has its own micro-version......
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Sancho’s Out, but Not Down

For those whose mornings became eclectic via KCRW, Saturday night on KPCC must have seemed schizophrenic, with its barrio mix of rhythm & blues, corridos, boleros, vintage Chicano rock -- and preaching. The fiercely proud Chicano DJ was as exuberant as they come. For six hours every Saturday night for......
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The Impressions‘ 1961 ”Gypsy Woman“ reappeared in 1966, brought back by Joe Bataan, an unknown Latin singer-pianist. Curtis Mayfield’s delicate baion was replaced by a driving Latin rhythm and two edgy trombones; the gentle gospel vocals became the chant ”She smokes! Ha! Ha!“; the Gypsy Woman‘s exploits were reported with......
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Baile Otra Vez

IT'S JULY 17, A SUN-DRENCHED LOS ANGELES afternoon. Just a stone's throw from the Police Academy is an annual picnic to commemorate the mass dispossession of Mexican-Americans who lived in Chavez Ravine until the area was cleared for Dodger Stadium. The attendees fall into two groups -- those who were......
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