Wednesday, March 12, 2008
They cannot, and I repeat, cannot, get enough of their “Oldies but Goodies”, or their “Memories of El Monte”.
Art Laboe, a syndicated radio personality, gets to the core of Chicano culture with his dedication show where you can hear a plethora of Chicano callers from all over the United States call in and say things like “I’d like to dedicate ‘Angel Baby’ to my baby Angel who is locked up, baby, I love you” or “Yeah, I’d like to dedicate ‘These Arms of Mine’ to my hyna Rosie, hope you visit this weekend” or Art Laboe himself will send the dedications, “Little Puppet from Cypress sends his love to Babygirl, says he misses you and can’t wait to be home”.
Some less knowledgeable connoisseurs of Chicano culture would argue that Art Laboe is a Cholo genre of music, but you can refute this argument by acknowledging that while Cholos too, love Art Laboe, Cholos can also in fact be, Chicanos. If you want to be political about it, you can insert key phrases like “the prison industrial complex” and argue that while Chicanos are locked up at an alarming rate, it is Art Laboe that allows Chicano Cholos to express their tender side through the dedications in a world that often times oppress our Brown Community. Be sure to be inclusive of yourself.
You can further expand on your vast knowledge of Chicano culture by stating inarguable facts like, Chicanos love for cruising down Whittier Blvd while listening to Art Laboe’s “Killer Oldies”. If your friends still want more proof on your Chicano knowledge, you can talk to them about the era of artwork that accompanies the music of Art Laboe’s “Killer Oldies”, which for a large portion, depict Pachucos, a fashion style of the 1940’s, and Bomber cars with suicide doors. You can really blow your friends out of the water by lighting a cigarette and wondering out loud the social significance of how low riders became the replacement of the Bomber car and proclaiming the beauty of Old English Font. The fact that Art Laboe may be about 525 years old, is another reason why Chicanos love him, that foo’ just doesn’t die. He may in fact have been alive when “The Treaty of Hidalgo” was signed.
Art Loboe can be credited for the Chicano style of speaking in song verse, such as “smile now, cry later”, “I got two lovers and I love them both the same”, “Baby I’m for real” and “hey there lonely girl”.
When in doubt of what kind of music you should play when entertaining Chicanos at a dinner party, just put on an Art Laboe “Killer Oldies” CD, I recommend you get the box set. Guaranteed someone will say to you, “Orale! You have Art Laboe?!”
You would have earned major street cred points for your music knowledge and sensitivity towards the tenderness of those oldies but goodies.