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Lydia Mendoza

October 11, 2022

Decades before Selena was crowned the Queen of Tejano Music, there was Lydia Mendoza. Today at TAD, we are celebrating the first iconic female Tejano singer, La Alondra de La Frontera. Lydia Mendoza was born in Houston in 1916 to a musical family. Her parents had immigrated to Texas in order to escape the Mexican Revolution. Her father was a railroad worker, so her family would travel with him and together would entertain the farmers and laborers along the Tex-Mex border. Lydia would spend a great deal of her early career performing with her family, and even as a solo artist, they would accompany and open for her concerts. 

When Lydia was a teenager, she caught the attention of Spanish radio personality, Manuel J. Cortez. He signed her onto Bluebird Records in 1937 and she recorded her first well-known song “Mal Hombre”. Mendoza’s song was a hit across the US-Mexico border, and she became a symbol of pride for the Tejano population, as well as other Mexican Americans.

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