1900     Gregorio Cortéz, a Tejano, kills a deputy who attempts to arrest him unjustly and flees for his life. Cortéz is eventually captured, tried by an all-Anglo jury and sentenced to prison. He is eventually pardoned in 1913. His exploits are recorded in the border ballad “El Corrido de Gregorio Cortéz.”

1910     “El Corrido de Jacinto Treviño” another border ballad, highlights the conflict between Mexican Americans and the Texas Rangers, who are known as “Los Rinches” As with Gregorio Cortéz, the hero of this ballad, Jacinto Treviño, defends himself against the Texas Rangers with a gun in his hand–a key component to many of the border corridos of this period..

1916     Mexican General Pancho Villa, with a force of 485 men, raids the border town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing 14 Americans. In retaliation, the United States sends an expeditionary force of 12,000 men under General John “Blackjack” Pershing to capture Villa. After ten months in Mexico, General Pershing is unsuccessful in finding Villa. The inability of Pershing to find Villa is later celebrated in the Mexican corrido (ballad) “Nuestro Mexico Febrero 23.”

1921     El Orden Hijos de América (Order of the Sons of America) a Mexican American civil rights organization is created to fight discrimination and advance education,  is formed in San Antonio, Texas. Later it will merge with the Knights of America to form the League of United Latin American Citizens.

1926     In Texas, Lydia Mendoza performs with her family group, El Cuarteto Carta Blanca, and then on her own. She begins touring the Southwest and soon become the first female star of Mexican American music.

1926     Los Hermanos Bañuelos record “El Lavaplatos” (The Dishwasher) whose lyrics include reference to the “Chicanos,” arguably the first time the word is used in print in the United States.

1928     “El Choclo” introduces Americans to the Argentine Tango.

1929     Cuban orchestra leader Don Azpiazu is “discovered” at the Havana Casino, Havana, Cuba by a New York music producer. The producer is taken, in particular, by one of Don Azpiazu’s songs, “El Manisero” He invites Don Azpiazu to New York where it is recorded and released under its English name, “The Peanut Vendor.” The song becomes an instant hit, starting a craze for Cuban music in the United States.

1930      With a massive economic depression in the United States, local authorities in Southwest cities begin to deport Spanish surnamed people to Mexico as part of a “repatriation” program. It is estimated that in the years between 1930 and 1935 more than 500,000 people will be deported, many of them American citizens of Mexican descent for whom Mexico is a foreign country. The Hermanos Bañuelos record “El Deportado,” (The Deported One).

1930     Roberto Rodríguez and Clemente Mendoza record “Adelita,” one of the earliest recordings of conjunto music from South Texas.

1931     Don Azpiazu follows up his hit of “The Peanut Vendor” with “Green Eyes” which also becomes a national hit.

1931     Alfredo Brito, another Cuban transplant to New York, adds to the growing popularity of Cuban music in the United States with his hit, “Canto Siboney,” recorded with his Siboney Orchestra.

1933     The RKO pictures production of “Flying Down to Rio” not only introduced American audiences for the first

Typical Orchestra band of 1930s

time to the pairing of Fred Astaire with Ginger Rogers but also introduced the song “Carioca” written by Vincent Youmans. The song would become a favorite of big bands for the next two decades.

1934      Lydia Mendoza’s torch song, “Mal Hombre,” becomes a nationwide hit on Mexican radio stations. Between 1933 and 1940 Lydia will record more than 200 songs for the Blue Bird label, establishing her as a singing phenomenon in her native Texas.

1934     “La Cucaracha” (The Cockroach) a song associated with the forces of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, is adapted into a rumba and becomes a hit under various incarnations including a recording by Louis Armstrong and Lud Gluskin.

1935     Bandleader Xavier Cugat’s version of the Argentine tango “Jalousie,” become a hit.

1935     Narcisco Martínez, considered by some as  the father of “conjunto” music, begins a career that will popularize the button accordion as a vital instrument in Tex-Mex music.

1936     Santiago Jimenez Sr., releases his first record, “Dices Pescao,” in which he show off his unique style of accordion playing, helping to establish the accordion in the Texas conjunto band. His sons Flaco and Santiago Jr., will carry on the family tradition in the decades to come.

1937     Cuban born Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez Grillo, better known as “Machito,” begins to his musical career singing with the La Estrella Habanera in New York City. In later years, he will have a profound influence on Latin jazz, melding Afro-Cuban rhythms with American jazz improvisations.

1937     Cuban concert pianist and composer Ernesto Lecuona records “Ay Si, Ay No,” with his Lecuona Cuban Boys. The song is a conga dance and it sets off a Conga craze in the United States that will continue for several years.

1937     In Los Angeles, Las Hermanas Padilla (Margarita and Elena) record their hit song “Desesperanza” with the Manuel Acuña orchestra.

1937     In Havana, Cuba, bassist Israel Cachao López, and his pianist brother Orestes, play with the traditional danzón form and give it a distinctive swing. Though their first experiment with the “mambo” is at first not successful, they succeed in introducing a musical form that will later be popularized by Pérez Prado. Considered the “father of the mambo” Cachao’s mambo form will soon become one of the staples of Latin musical forms.

1939     Xavier Cugat and his Waldorf Astoria orchestra records “Bésame Mucho,” popularizing the Mexican standard to American audiences.

1939     Andrés Rabago Pérez, who was born in the Boyle Heights section of East Los Angeles,  graduates from high school and is hired by the Gus Arnheim band as drummer and singer. Within a short time he will change his name to Andy Russell and will become one of the leading pop singers for Capital Records during the 40s and 50s, further popularizing the song Bésame Mucho to millions.

1939     Mexican composer Alberto Dominguez composes “Frenesí,” (Frenzy) which is heard in a by bandleader Artie Shaw on vacation in Mexico. Shaw returns to the United States and records the song as an instrumental with his big band. It becomes one of his most enduring hits.

1939     Carmen Miranda (María do Carmo Miranda de Cuhna) performs “South American Way” in her Broadway revue, “Streets of Paris.” This launches the Brazilian performer’s career in song and motion pictures.

1939      Lalo Guerrero begins his musical career singing with the

Los Carlistas

traditional Mexican music group, Los Carlistas, in Tucson, Arizona.

1939     Artie Shaw records “El Rancho Grande,” the signature song from the 1936 Mexican motion pictures “Alla En El Rancho Grande,” starring Tito Guizar and Esther Fernández, which established Mexico as a major motion picture force in Latin America.

1940     During the war years many of the big bands–Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, Xavier Cugat, Jimmy Dorsey and Artie Shaw–feature Latin songs such as “Quiereme Mucho,” “Frenesí,” “Brazil,” “Perfidia,” “Besame Mucho,” and “Solamente Una Vez.”

1940     After working with Xavier Cugat and other big band musicians, Machito forms his own band, The Afro-Cubans, and begins to experiment with a new musical style merging Afro-Cuban rhythms with the improvisations associated with jazz.

1941     Beto Villa, known as the father of Mexican American big band music begins a career that will make him famous throughout the Southwest.

1941     Carmen Miranda records “Chica Chica Boum Chic.”

1942     Encouraged by the U.S. government’s Coordinator of Inter American Affairs, Walt Disney Studios produces “Saludos Amigos” in an effort to off-set possible Latin American leanings to the Axis powers. The motion picture, also released in the United States,  popularizes the song “Tico Tico Nu Fuba’ as “Tico Tico” to American audiences.

1942      In response to a shortage of farm laborers the United States (due to World War Two), the United States and Mexico enter into a joint Emergency Labor Program under which thousands of Mexican “braceros,” farm laborers, will be permitted to work legally in the United States. The program, initially set up as temporary program, will continue unabated until 1964. American agriculture growers benefit from this program of low-cost laborers. The bracero program gives rise to numerous corridos about braceros and their experiences working in the United States.

1942     Santiago Jimenez Sr., releases his original accordion composition “Viva Seguín,” which becomes a regional hit in Texas. In later years he will become recognized as “the father of Conjunto music.”

1944     In New York City, at the Teatro Hispano, two Mexican guitarists, Chucho Navarro and Alfredo Gil and a Puerto Rican guitarist, Hernando Aviles Negron prepare to go on stage. The floor manager wants to know what group is on next and a lighting technician nods in the direction of the trio and says, “Those Panchos!” The trio ignore the slur and instead adopt the name. The Trio Los Panchos will become one of the most successful trio in American and Latin American music history, introducing the smaller sized  “requinto” guitar to embellish their rendering of boleros.

1945     With so many Mexican American men away at war, the Texas sister duet of Carmen and Laura Hernandez record “Se Me Fue Mi Amor” which becomes their first big hit.

1946     Lalo Guerrero performs with his own big band at the Club La Bamba, in Los Angeles, California.

Singer-Composer Lalo Guerrero

1946     Armando Marroquín and Paco Betancourt found Ideal Records and begin recording the Tejano music of South Texas with singers like Carmen and Laura, The Conjunto Bernal and Narciso Martínez and Beto Villa This will set the stage for the evolution of this music into the Tex-Mex sound of later years.

1946     While living in a migrant labor camp near Lubbock, Texas, a seven year old Esteban Jordan discovers the button accordion. Within a short time he has taught himself how to play. The accordion will come to dominate his life, making him one of the top accordion musician-singers in Tex-Mex history.

1948     Don Tosti records “Pachuco Boogie,” fusing Spanish language traditions with the hip stylings of Lionel Hampton and Louis Jordan orchestras and affirming the zoot suit experience of the first generation of  Chicanos.

1949     Orchestra leader Lalo Guerrero, often cited as the father of Chicano music, records  “Marijuana Boogie” and “Los Chucos Suaves.” Like Don Tosti, he uses bilingual “Caló” to create a unique Chicano big band sound.

1949     New York Cuban orchestra leader Machito records “Maneuo Mangue” with Charlie Parker.

1949     The body of deceased war hero Pvt. Félix Longoria is denied burial in the cemetery of his home town of Three Rivers, Texas.  Dr. Héctor García leads a community protest that along with the intervention of then Congressman Lyndon Baines Johnson, results in Longoria being buried at Arlington National Cemetery instead. The corrido, “Discriminación A Un Mártir,” commemorates the event.

1950     Celia Cruz (Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso) begins to perform as lead singer for the Cuban band Sonora Matancera, traveling with the group throughout Latin America. It will be ten years before she emigrates to the United States following the Castro revolution in Cuba.

1953     David Coronado of “David Coronado & The Latinaires” recruits his young cousin, Joe Hernandez, to play guitar in his Texas band. Joe Hernandez will eventually become known as “Little Joe” forming first “Little Joe and the Latinaires” and later “Little Joe y La Familia” and revolutionizing the Tex-Mex big band sound.

1954     Fifteen-year-old Flaco Jimenez begins his recording career as a member of the conjunto group Los Caporales.

1954     Lalo Guerrero performs his original song, “Nunca Jamás, ”in front of an audience in Denver, Colorado in which the popular Mexico City group, Los Panchos, are present.  On their return to Mexico, they record Lalo’s song.  Soon, other leading performers like  Javier Solís, and José Feliciano record the song as well. It becomes an instant bolero classic.

1956     Ron Gregory, of Hungarian descent, adopts the Spanish surname, Herrera and becomes Little Julian Herrera.  His Rhythm and Blues hit “Lonely, Lonely Nights” makes him arguably the first Chicano rock and roll star.

1957     Lalo Guerrero records Elvis Perez, a parody on the rock star phenomenon Elvis Presley.

1957    In San Antonio, Texas Armando Almendarez creates Mando and the Chili Peppers, one of the first Mexican American rock and roll bands. The group, under the Crest record label,  records traditional country songs like “Walking the Floor over you,” and “San Antonio Rose,”and oldies like “Harbor Lights,” and “Maybellene”to a sax driven rock and roll beat.

1958     Ildefonso “Sunny” Osuna and Rudy Guerra form a rock and roll group, The Sunglows, in San Antonio. Sunny Osuna will go on to have a lifelong career as a musician and radio personality.

1958     Chuck Rio writes “Tequila” which is recorded by the Champs and becomes a national hit.

1958 Tito Puente releases Dance Mania, establishing him as the King of the Salseros and further popularizing the mambo and cha cha craze in America.

October 6, 1958 Ritchie Valens (Richard Valenzuela) appears on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand television show to perform his first hit, “Come On Let’s Go!”

December 1958, Ritchie Valen’s two hits “Donna” and “La Bamba” establish him, indisputably, as the first nationally recognized Chicano rock and roll star.

Rampart Record founder Eddie Davis

1959     Restaurant owner-turned-record producer Eddie Davis founds Faro Records and Rampart Records in Los Angeles. These and his other labels will produce Eastside groups like Cannibal and the Headhunters, The Premiers, Thee Midnighters and El Chicano. Davis will eventually own seven record labels (including Gordo, Linda, Valhalla, Boomerang and Prospect records) propelling Chicano musicians and what will become known as the West Coast Eastside Sound.

1959     The San Gabriel, California based group, The Story Tellers (Alvin Sanchez, Ruben Ochoa, Nick Delgado) release “You Played Me A Fool.”

1959     In San Antonio, Texas, Jesse Hernandez joins his brother “Little Joe” in a band whose name is now “Little Joe and the Latinaires.” Though not widely  known outside of Texas, they soon gather a loyal following there.

1959     The San Antonio based Rhythm and Blues group The Lyrics, headed by Dimas Garza, record their hit song “Oh Please Love Me.”

March, 1959 Ritchie Valens, whose real name is Ricardo Valenzuela and whose hits “La Bamba” and “Donna” made him the first nationally recognized Mexican American rock and roll star, dies in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa along with singers Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson).

1960     Rosie Hamlin, whose grandparents immigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, records “Angel Baby.” The song becomes an instant “oldies” classic and makes Rosie the first Mexican American female to score a national hit.

1960     Baldemar G. Huerta records a song he titles “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights.” The song becomes a national hit but before his career can take off,  he is arrested for marijuana possession in Louisiana, and is sentenced to three years at Angola State Prison. It will not be until 1975, when Baldemar, now known as Freddy Fender, sees his song, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” become the number one country hit in the nation.

1960  RCA releases Big Hits by Prado, featuring Perez Prado hits like Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.

1961    The Apollo Brothers record My Beloved One and Riot on Cleveland Records.

1961     Manny Chavez and the Sevilles record “Charlena,” a song Chavez co-wrote with Sonny Chaney.

1961     Eddie Cano releases his album “Eddie Cano at P.J.s’” which includes the national hit, “ A Taste of Honey.”

1962     In Bay City, Michigan Rudy Martinez, who renames himself Question Mark, joins with Frank Rodríguez, Bobby Balderrama, Robert Martinez and Frank Lugo to form the group Question Mark and the Mysterians. The group too its name from the 1957 science fiction movie produced by Toho Productions.

1962     In Los Angeles, Chris Montez records “Let’s Dance,” on the Monogram label. The song will reach the top ten chart in the United Sates and will become a number one hit in England.

1963     San Antonio based Sunny and the Sunglows record their break out hit “Talk To Me, Talk To Me.” Later Sunny leaves the Sunglows and creates his own group Sunny and the Sunliners. The popularity of “Talk To Me” and Sunny’s fusion of trumpets and saxophones to traditional ranchera and Rhythm and Blues stylings creates what becomes known as the “Westside Sound.” Sunny and the Sunliners soon becomes the most popular Mexican American group in the country.

1963     Esteban Jordan and his singer wife Virginia Martínez, release their first album, a compilation of polkas, boleros and rancheras all featuring the stunning accordion playing of the musician known as “El Parche,” for the patch Esteban wears over his blind eye.

1964     The East Los Angeles  group The Premiers appear on the Dick Clark show singing their hit “Farmer John.”

The Premiers

1964     Texas based Rene and Rene score a hit with their song “Angelito.”.

1964     In New York, attorney Jerry Masucci joins with Dominican born composer Johnny Pacheco to create a record label, Fania, that will record and promote New York Latin musicians. Within a short time, they will be recording artists like Larry Harlow, Ray Barreto and Bobby Valentin.

1964     The Eastside group The Blendells record “La La La La La.” It becomes a number one hit in the Los Angeles market and charts high in big cities across the nation.

The Blendells

1965      Luís Valdéz, a theater arts major at San Jose State, joins the United Farm Workers Union and, along with is brother Daniel Valdez and Augustin Lira, creates

El Teatro Campesino

El Teatro Campesino, an agit-prop theater group that performs one-act plays to educate and politicize workers in the fields. He writes songs like “Huelga En General,” “El Picket Sign,” and adapts “We Shall Not be Moved” into “No Nos Moveran.” The songs help propel the farm workers movement and later the Chicano civil rights movement.

1965     Formed in 1963, Thee Midniters, arguably the most popular Eastside rock and roll group of the sixties, release their first album, a compilation of their hits which include “Whittier Boulevard,” “Land of a Thousand Dances,” and “To Be With You.” The members of Thee Midnighters include Larry Rendon, Romeo-Prado, George Dominguez, Danny La Mont, Roy Marquez, L’il Willie “G” Garcia and Jimmy Espinosa.

1965     In Houston, Texas, music producer Huey P. Meaux releases “She’s About a Mover” by a local group he has helped create called “The Sir Douglas Quintet.” The band, which includes founder Doug Sahm and members Augie Myers, Jack Barbar, Johnny Perez, Leon Beatty and Frank Morin, soon become one of the most successful and influential of the Tex-Mex music groups.

1965     Andy Tesso, guitarist for The Romancers, is drafted. Other Eastside sound musicians who are drafted include Andy Valona and Mike Rincon of the Blendells, Lawrence Perez of the Premiers and Jimmy Meza of the Atlantics. The draft not only puts an end to the musical careers of some performers but also effectively brings an end to some of the most promising of  Chicano Eastside groups.

June 5, 1965 “Wooly Bully” by Sam The Sham (Domingo Samudio) and the Pharaohs charts at #2 nationwide.

Cannibal and the Headhunters

August 15, 1965 With their song “Land of a Thousand Dances,” a national hit, Cannibal and the Headhuntrers ( lead singer Frankie “Cannibal” García, Bobby Jaramillo, “Jojo” Jaramillo, and Richard “Scar” López) open for the Beatles at Shea Stadium, in New York City.  The group  will accompany the Beatles throughout the Beatles  first U.S. tour.

1966     Question Mark and the Mysterians’ song “96 Tears” charts at #1 on the US music chart..

February, 1966  Blind Puerto Rican guitarist and singer José Felicicano performs at the “Mar de Plata” music festival in Argentina, bringing down the house and jump-starting a career in Spanish and English language music that will extends for decades.

August 6, 1966 “L’il Red Riding Hood” by Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs peaks at #2 nationwide.

1967     Héctor Lavoe teams up with Willie Colón on their first album “Malo,” which catapults the unknown Lavoe into the ranks of  popular salsa performers.

1968     Johnny Pacheco and Jerry Masucci create the Fania All Stars, a group of emerging salsa artists that will eventually include Willie Colón, Larry Harlow, Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Cheo Felicano, Ismale Miranda, and Justo Betancourt.

1968      The Sir Douglas Quintet, now tranplanted from Texas to the San Francisco, incorporates elements of the San Francisco rock sound in “Mendocino,” which becomes a national hit.

1969     Esteban Jordan joins the Willie Bobo band and tours with the group in California and New York, introducing the Tejano accordionist to the music and musicians of New York’s Spanish Harlem.

1969     Mexican-born Carlos Santana brings his San Francisco based band to the Woodstock music festival in upstate New York, stunning the audience with his electric guitar playing. Later in the year, the band’s first album Santana, goes triple platinum with its hit song “Evil Ways.” Members of the group include Carlos Santana, Gregg Rolie, David Brown, Michael Shrieve, Michael Carabello and José “Chepito” Areas.

El Chicano

1969      El Chicano (Ersi Arvisu, Micky Lespron, Freddie Sanchez, John DeLuna, Bobby Espinosa and Andre Baeza) release their hit instrumental “Viva Tirado.”

1969     Ruben Guevara, a local Eastside musician who had performed doo wop songs in the fifties as part of the Apollo Brothers, meets Frank Zappa whose Mothers of Invention had just produced a doo wop parody album titled “Crusin’ Ruben & the Jets.” Zappa  offers to back Guevara in creating a real “Ruben and the Jets” band with Guevara as the lead singer. Within a short time the real “Ruben and the Jets” band is formed. The group will record two albums, “For Real,”produced by Frank Zappa  in 1973 and “Con Safos” produced by Denny Randell in 1974.

1970     After being exposed to the West Coast Latino sound, Little Joe renames his band, “Little Joe y La Familia..”

1970     Using a portable tape recorder Chris Strachwitz begins recording conjunto music groups like Los Pinguinos Del Norte along the U.S. Mexico border. In the years to come Strachwitz will record numerous Tex-Mex groups and release these recordings on his Arhoolie record label.

1970     Carlos Santana’s second album, Abrazxes, also goes platinum with hit songs “Oye Como Va” and “Black Magic Woman,” popularizing Santana’s unique blend of blues, salsa and African rhythms.

1971     Rudy and Steve Salas, who first recorded together with The Jaguars in the 1965 local hit “Where Lovers Go,” form a new group called Tierra. Inspired by the music of Santana and Malo, the two brothers consolidate a new Eastside sound.

1971     The Fania All Stars perform at New York Cheetah Club. The historic two volume record set includes performances by all members of the Fania All Stars and remains to this day as the largest selling Latin album recorded from one single concert.

1972     The San Francisco based group Malo releases “Suavecito” and it charts to the top 20 nationally. The song vys with “Sabor a Mí” for status as the “Chicano national anthem.”

1972     Daniel Valdez records a half hour concert show “America de los Indios” for Los Angeles televison station KCET. The show, which is simulcast with radio stations in the Los Angeles area, attracts producer Taylor Hackford who will later produce Daniel’s first album Mestizo a year later.

Daniel Valdez

1972     Para La Gente, a popular album by the Texas group Little Joe y La Familia, establishes a new style of music known as La Onda Chicana (The Chicano Wave); it is a combination of Tex-Mex music with jazz and rock and roll.

1972    Azteca, a band comprised of San Francisco musicians, including Coke and Pete Escovedo and Victor Pantoja, releases their debut album Azteca. The band, which at times numbers twenty-five musicians, blends jazz and Latin soul with rock and roll. Azteca will release their second album, Pyramid of the Moon in 1973.

1973.     Tierra ( Steve and Rudy Salas, David Torres, Jr., Kenny Roman, Rudy Villa and Conrad Lozano) releases their first album simply titled Tierra.

1973     Héctor Lavoe’s solo album La Voz (The Voice) cements his fame as “El Cantante de los Cantantes,” (The Singer of Singers).

1974     In New York, Celia Cruz’s association with Johnny Pacheco’s Fania All Stars, results in a collaboration titled Celia y Johnny which becomes an instant success.

1974     An exiled Panamanian singer named Ruben Blades, desperate to record with Fania Records, accepts a job in the mail room to get a foot in the door.

1974     Joan Baez releases her first all Spanish language album, “Gracias A La Vida,” The album includes traditional Mexican folk songs and songs of the Nueva Canción in Latin America.

1975     The Fania All Stars perform to a packed audience at New York Yankee Stadium and produce the historic album, “Live at Yankee Stadium.”

April 8, 1975  Freddy Fender, whose real name is Baldemar G. Huerta, strikes gold when his single “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” becomes the number one song on both pop and country Billboard charts. A remake of “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” also charts number on the Billboard country chart.

1976     The Tigres Del Norte recording of “La Camelia,” becomes a national hit. The song relates the activities of a drug smuggling Tejana who is betrayed by her boyfriend. Esteban Jordan also has a hit with his recording of “La Camelia.”

1976      Music producer Chris Strachwitz joins with filmmaker Les Blank to producer Chulas Fronteras, a documentary about Tejano border music featuring groups like Los Madrugadores del Norte, Los Pinguinos Del Norte, Los Alegres De Terán and pivotal individuals such as Flaco Jiménez, Lydia Mendoza and Narciso Martínez.

1976     Art Bramilia produces Sí Se Puede, an album for the United Farm Workers, which features music by Los Lobos, Rudy and Steve Salas of Tierra, Carmen Moreno, and Ramon “Tiguere” Rodriguez. Among the songs on the album are De Colores, No Nos Moveran,  Huelga En General and Corrido de Dolores Huerta..

1977     In Puerto Rico, Edgardo Díaz releases the first album by a group of young teenagers he has created called Menudo. Díaz’s plan is to keep the group young by cycling out members as they reach sixteen years of age. The highly popular group will spin off individual performers such as Ricky Martin and Robi Draco Rosa.

1977     Having moved up from the mail room of Fania Records, Rubén Blades scores his first international hit song “Pedro Navaja,” on his second album with Willie Colon, “Siembra.”

1977     In Los Angeles, a group of four musicians who have been playing traditional Mexican music at restaurants, weddings and baptisms record their first album which they title “Los Lobos del Este De Los Angeles, Just Another Band from East L.A.” Within a short time the group will be come of the most prolific and internationally recognized of Chicano music

Los Lobos


1978     The Tejano group Mazz (formed by Jimmy González and Joe López) release their debut album which features their hit song “Comprendo Mi Amo,” and which features their signature synthesizer sound added to traditional rancheras , cumbias and boleros. The band will soon become of the most successful bands of the Tejano sound.

1980     Tierra’s single “Together’ reaches  #18 on the U.S. pop chart. They perform at Carnegie Hall.

1982     Menudo’s album Quiero Ser, establishes the group’s teenage members as international stars.

1983     Rhino Records releases Los Angelinos: The Eastside Renaissance produced by veteran songster Ruben Guevara (Ruben and the Jets). The Album features punk and fusion groups like The Plugz, The Brat, Fellix and the Katz, Califas, Mestizo, Los Perros, the Odd Squad, Con Fafos, and the Royal Gents. Guervara also produces “The Best of Thee Midniters” and “History of Latino Rock:1956-65.”

1984     Rubén Blades, born in Panama, releases the hit album “Buscando América.”

1985     Los Lobos perform the musical numbers for the feature biopic La Bamba, the story of Chicano singer and songwriter Ritchie Valens. Their cover of the title song, La Bamba, soars to number one in the United States and in many countries of the world.

Flaco Jimenez

1986     Flaco Jiménez wins his first Grammy for his performance of a song popularized years previously by his father, Santiago Sr., “Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio.” (I’m Leaving You In San Antonio)

1987     Selena Quintanilla wins the Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music festival, confirming her status as the “Queen of Tejano music.”

1987 Linda Ronstadt releases her first all-Spanish album, Canciónes de mi Padre. The album soon becomes the largest selling non-English language album in American music history.

1990     Cuban born American actor Andy García produces the documentary “Cachao, Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos,” (Cachao, There’s None to Equal to His Rhythm.) The documentary chronicles the life and music of legendary musician Israel Cachao López.

1990     Doug Sahm and Augie Myers of the original Sir Douglas Quintet join with Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez to form a new group called The Texas Tornados. The group wins a Grammy for their first album together.

1991     Ricky Martin releases his first album as a solo performer Ricky Martin and it earns gold records in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. It establish Martin as an international star.

1992    Santana releases his album Milagro.

1993     Selena Quintanilla-Perez wins a Grammy award for Best Mexican American Performance for her singing in the album “Selena Live!”

1994     When guitarists Ruben Guaderrama and Manuel González first began playing together as seniors at Roosevelt High school in East Los Angeles in 1971, they didn’t realize that 23 years later they would record their debut album, Short Fuse, as the Blazers. The album showcases The Blazers blend of rock and roll and blues with traditional cumbias and boleros.

1996     Frank “Cannibal” Garcia passes.

1997     Jennifer Lopez stars in Selena, a biopic about the life, career and death of Tejano star Selena Quintanilla- Pérez.

1997 Ry Cooder and old school Cuban maestros like Ibrahim Ferrer,  Orlando Lopez, Eliades Ochoa and Compay Segundo release The Buena Vista Social Club, introducing American listeners to a classic Cuban sound seldom heard before.

1998     Ozomatli releases their debut album titled Ozomatli, featuring their fusion of many musical styles including Latin rock, salsa, reggae and hip hop. The name of the group derives from the Aztec symbol for monkey found on the Aztec calendar.

1999     Ricky Martin’s single “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” becomes an international phenomenon, reaching number one on U.S. charts as well as number one in England, Mexico, Japan, Russia and South Africa.

1999     The all-star band Los Super Seven wins a “Best Mexican American Performance” Grammy for their singing in the album by the same name. The group is made up of Flaco Jimenez, Freddy Fender, David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, Joe Ely, Rick Trevino and Ruben Ramos.

1999    Santana releases his hit album Supernatural.

1999     Doug Sahm passes.

1999     After getting her start as a child actress on The New Mickey Mouse Club in 1993, Christina Aguilera releases her first album Christina Aguilera which becomes an instant success, garnering three hit songs in the top 100.

2000     The Latin Grammy Awards are established with a national broadcast over CBS. The awards feature seventeen principal categories including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best new Artist, Best Ranchera Album, Best Banda Album, etc.

2002     Ozamatli wins a Grammy for “Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album.”

2003     Rolling Stone magazine names Carlos Santana as 15th on its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

2003     Celia Cruz passes.

2003     In Texas, the rock trio, Los Loney Boys (Henry, Jojo, and Ringo Garza) release their debut album and it goes  platinum, establishing them as a vital new voice in Tejano rock.

2005    Santana releases the album All That I Am.

2005     Ozomatli wins a Grammy for their album “Street Signs.”

2006     Christina Aguilera releases her third album, Back to Basics, which features soul and jazz stylings. By 2009 she will have sold 42 million albums worldwide.

2007    Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony star in El Cantante, the biopic of salsa superstar Hector Lavoe. The film is directed by Leon Ichaso.