1. El Desesperado (Corrido) 2. Gregorio Cortez (Corrido) 3. Yo Soy


1. El Desesperado (Corrido) 2. Gregorio Cortez (Corrido) 3. Yo Soy
1. El Desesperado (Corrido)
2. Gregorio Cortez (Corrido)
3. Yo Soy Norteiio (Ranchera)
4. Contrabando del Paso
5. Jacinto Treviilo (Corrido)
6. El Gallito (Huapango)
7. Los Dos Hermanos (Corrido)
8. Tu Pensabas Hacerme Sufrir
Por Esos Montes (Cancii>n)
Viva El West Side (Polka)
No Me Estorbes (Cancii>n )
Yo Me Enamore (Canciim)
Yo Bien Quisiera (Canciim)
La Chivita (lkdova)
Borracho Perdido (Ranchera)
En La Sombra (Cancii m)
Benjamin Argumedo (Corridol
:tl by R. ca, t illoj. and II. Gaytan M .:
#H by Andre' Berlanga ; P'IO & #l--1 by
Fred Zimmer l e and <lO: hy Tradition
,\ l u,ic Co. (1\,\ 11 )
Sc leuiom # 1-7 & 17 br LOS
PI 1Gi."J I OS DEL 1 O lrrE
Se lection s #H- 16 by FRED 7. 1M I\ 1ER I-E"S
Los Pingu i nm De l None : Ruben
Cas t i ll o juarez - accord ion & high
voice; ll ilario Gaydn l oreno - guitar
& lower voice ; Ricardo Esca lant c ha,s . Recorded by Chri' St rachwitz &
Rumel Fuente' al El Patio cantina in
Piedras Negra,. Coah . May ..., . I ~PO .
" Yo Soy oneno " p reviou, l y
uni,ued : all other 'electiom origin a ll ~
bsucd on Arhoo li e LP 3002 .
ConjunlO Trio San Anwnio : Fred
Zimmerlc - accordion (guitar on # 12 ) &
vocab : E'teban " Stc,·e " jaramillo - hajo
'cx!O & vocab on !i'). 12 . 13 & I 6 :
Andres lkrlanga - hajo 'cx10 & voc:tb
on #H & I; and on ir I I Berlanga 'ing'
duel with 1\l anuel Arellano imtcad of
Zimmerle . Juan \'ie:o.c:l -,lring ha" .
Recorded hy Cl1rb Strachwitz in San
Alllonio in i\l ay !')..., ... . "E n La Sombra "
prc,·iou, l y uni,ucd : all other 'clt:ui on'
originally bMtcd on Arhoolic LP 3004 .
Produced hy Chrb Strachwitz.
Cover h y \X'a y nc Pope .
PIH>lm hy Chrb Strachwitz .
Rn·bcd tran,cription' and tran'lat ion' of corrido' and 'ong' h,· Jaim e
:-.lit·o lopulm - I')H') .
Conjuntos Norteiios
Los Pingiiinos Del Norte
Conjuntos 1orteiios re fers to the popular groups in northern Mexico and
south Texas featuring vocal duets with accordion, bajo sexto, bass and
drums. Sometimes an alto saxopho ne is added and plays in unison with
the accordion , especiall y in conjuntos fro m the Monterrey, uevo Leon
regio n . Los Pingi:linos Del o rte (The Penguins of the o rth) are typical
o f the tho usands o f strolling conjuntos fo und all over Mexico in cantinas,
o n the streets, in the plazas, at parties, etc. The music played will vary from
regio n to regio n depending upo n the traditio n in that area . In no rthe rn
Mexico most co njuntos play M SICA ORTE-1A, which as the name implies is music fro m the no rth, accordio n music. Los Pingi:Jinos are also very
special because their's is a unique , pure ru ral style o f singing and playing,
and they sing the corridos (ballads o r story songs) o f the regio n . They sing
and play almost any song requested because that is ho w the y make their
living. Conjuntos are living juke boxes, and patrons in the cantinas pay
them by the song. At the time I made these recordings the price w as 50
cents per song o r 6 pesos. Today I think the charge is aro und 2 per song
(and maybe 3000 pesosn. O ne customer will o ften request dozens of songs
until his last do llar is spent . Los Pingi:linos fro m no rthern Mexico are the
equivalent o f a "songster·· such as Mance Lipscomb in the African-American
traditio n in Texas. Music , especially corridos and sentimental ranche ras,
is very important to the audiences o f Los Pingi:linos . Let the late Rumel
Fuentes, who grew up in Eagle Pass, o n the American side of the Rio Bravo
and w ho helped me make these recordings, speak abo ut this music fro m
perso nal experience:
" The music heard o n this record , especiall y the corridos, is the music
o f the lo wer econo mic classes . The people w ho listen to this type o f music
are the labo re rs and fa rm worke rs . T his music d eals w ith people w ho are
liberal, individualistic, arrogant, and w ho have no fea r of d ea th and the ir
m o tto is: " If I do n ' t fear d eath , how can I fear life? " Seldo m is this music
heard in middle class o r uppe r class Mexican o r Mexican-American ho mes.
The social pheno mena o f the corrido involves the he roes about w ho m
the song is w ritten , the write r , and of course the public who w ill listen
to the corrido . In most cases all three gro ups be lo ng to the same social
class and they have little to be pro ud of as far as econo m ic afflue nce is
concerned and so their pride is exp ressed through courage and ho no r.
In man y cases the he roes o f the corridos pay fo r their impudence and
rebe llio usness w ith their lives thus making the hero braver and the song
greater. T he mo re beer o ne drinks in the cantina, the braver o ne fee ls
and the mo re can we ide ntify w ith the hero of the song. T he bravery is
sometimes expressed b y yells showing approval o f the conte nt o f the co rrido o r some times b y fights w hich are frequent occurrences in the cantinas . The corrido also helps to understand the beliefs , standards, and
culture of the people and is a living w itness to the sen time n ts and values
of La Raza." (Rumel Fuentes - Co-producer of Los Pinguinos De l
o rte - 1970)
Corridos (ballad or sto ry songs) are a relati vely small part o f the repertoire o f the roving conjuntos (gro ups) w hic h sing and play fo r the ir audiences o f field worke rs in cantinas (taverns o r bars), d ance halls, o n the
streets, o r at picnics. Much o f their reperto ire consi ts of currently po pular
rancheras (cowbo y songs or ho nk y-tonk love songs), polkas, boleros (love
songs), cumbias, and vario us o ther popular dance mate rial. T he wo rd
corritlo comes from the Spanish CO RRER which means to run or to tlow
and the corrido tells a story simpl y and sw iftl y without much embellishment . The form dates back to about 1836 when the border corriclos came
to great popularity which las ted for about a hundred yea rs until the 1930s.
Since then , according to Americo Paredes, the importance of the border
corridos has bee n declining.
Many traditiona l corridos heard today elate back to the Mexican Revolution . There are quite a few which deal with Pancho Villa and his adventures and the man y generals who became he roes (note the box se t on
Folklyric LP/Cass 904 1/4: THE MEXICA REYOL UT IO ).Judging by what
has appeared on commercial records, most rece nt co rridos dea l with
regional or national tragedies such as the deaths of President Ke nned y,
Senator Robert Kenned y, and Dr. Martin Luthe r King for example . Hurricanes and mass murde rs which occurred in South Texas , Austin , or
Chicago , are topics covered by corridos. Some become popular but most
do not eem to capture the li steners ' attention for ve ry long . Strongl y
political corridos seem to have a hard time getting heard . Most record
companies don't want to take sides with political issues. Many popular
artists will sh y away from controversial mate rial as well , wishing not to
offend any part of their potential audience . I heard that corridos were
written about the political situation in Crystal City, Texas and about the
farm workers ' march on Austin but the records were either never released or received minimal distribution . Some of the smaller labels, however,
have re leased corridos of local inte rest. Willie Lopez in McAllen , owner
of Discos ORO, has written man y co rridos himself including the very moving " Los Rinches de Texas " (The Texas Rangers) , record ed by Dueto
Reynosa . The corrido relates the brutal treatment rece ived b y melon
strikers at the hands of " los rinches cobardes' ' (the cowardl y rangers) .
Mr Lopez takes an active part in local politics and elections and promotes
candidates of his choice via corridos which he will air o n his dail y radio
program originating from his home but broadcast over a Reynosa station
across the ri ver .
On this disc Los Ping(iinos del orte present mostl y traditional corridos which have stood the test of time and continue to be very popular
in that area . The public seems to continue to ide ntify with the content
of these ballads year after yea r. Los Pinguinos also sang one of their own
compositions " El Desesperado ," and I have included the instrumental
huapango " El Gallito " which makes for a pleasant respite from the corriclos which are sung and played either in waltz or polka tempos , but with
little embe llishment , much like the Anglo-Saxon ballads.
As of the date of this re-write , Los Ping(iinos del one are still singing
in Pi edras 1egras although Hilario Gaytan quit several yea rs ago and has
been replaced by a new singe r. The dueto as heard on this disc is also
seen in the awa rd wim1ing film /video about Texas-Mexican border music:
CH LA FRO TERAS by Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz (Brazos Filmssee ARHOOLIE CATALOG for details) which also features Los Alegres
De Teran , Flaco Jimenez, Lydia Mendoza , arciso Martinez, Santiago
Jime nez, and many others.
(C hris Strachwitz-1989)
Yo ya es toy desesperado;
jay de tanto trabajar
y andar pizcando naranjas .
ya me voy a enaranjar!
Me vi ne de Pi ed ras egras
muy chitl aclo y mu y contento ,
y le dije a mi vieji ta:
-No te ap ures , pronto vuelvo .
Now I'm reall y desperate;
ay, from working so hard
and going around picking oranges,
n ow I 'm goi ng to turn o range'
I came o ut from Piedras egras
very foolish and very happy ,
and I to ld m y o ld lady:
"Don' t wo rr y , I'll be back soon ...
We ' ve passed through Louisiana.
Alabama and some o ther states;
I ask El Coral :
"How much more 'til we get there?"
Catarrin answers me:
" Don't get all shook up,
do n't w o rr y, buddy ; lover boy
is going to reall y make out. ..
Hemos pasado Louisiana.
Alabama y o tros m as;
le pregunw yo al Coral :
- i,Cu{mlO fait a pa · llegar'
Me contesta el C;rtarrin :
o te vayas a agi:titar.
no tc apures. camarada.
que el sancho se va a rayar .
AI decir estas palabras,
nos pusimos a pensar .
y le dije yo a Ram o n :
-Com o ves esta caray?
Con nosotros iba Armando,
con el Flaco y otros m as,
hasta el dueto Los Pinguinos
que empezaron a cantar.
AI camar esas cancio nes,
yo me pongo a recordar :
- iAY mi am ado Piedras egras!
i. Cuando habrc de regresar>
Son mil ochocientas millas,
ni les quiero reco rdar ,
y hasta que no llegue a Peidras,
del carro no he de bajar.
Ya con csta me despido ,
Diosito me ha de ayudar;
voy corriendo las cien millas,
pues pronto quiero llegar .
Armando was riding with us.
along with El Flaco and some o thers,
even the duet Los Pingi:tinos,
who began to sing.
As I sing these songs,
I start to remember :
" Ay , m y beloved Piedras 'egras'
When will I ever get back' "
It's 1,800 miles,
I don' t even want to remind you,
and until I get back to Piedras
I won 't even get o ut of this car.
With this I bid farewell ,
m e clear God w ill surely help me;
I'm doing a hundred miles an ho ur.
1 reall y want to get ho me soon .
En el condado del Carmen ,
miren lo que ha sucedido,
murio el Cherife Major
In the count y o f El Carmen ,
look at what has happened,
the High Sheriff died
Having said these words ,
we all fell to thinking,
and I said to Ramo n :
" What do you think of this d;mmmess 1"
q ueclanclo Ro m {m hericlo.
Anduvieron informando
como tres horas despucs,
supiero n que el malhechor
era Gregorio Cortez.
Decia Gregorio Cortez
con su pistola en Ia mano:
o siento haberlo matado,
al que siento es a mi hermano.
Decia Gregorio Cortez
con su alma muy encendida:
o siento haberlo matado,
Ia defensa es permitida.
lban los am ericanos,
que po r el viento volaban ,
porque se iban a ganar
diez mil pesos que les claban.
AI llegar al Encinal
lo alcanzaro n a rodear
poquto m as de trescientos;
alii les brinco el corral.
Le echaro n los perros jaunes
que iban detras de Ia huella,
pero alcanzar a Cortez
era alcanzar a una estrella .
Decia Gregorio Cortez:
- i,Pa' que se valen de planes,
si no me pueclen pescar
ni con esos perros jaunes?
Gregorio le dice a Juan:
- Muy pronto lo vas aver ;
anda, clile a los cherifes
leaving Roman wounded .
They went around asking questions
about three hours later;
they found our that the wrongdoer
was Gregorio Cortez.
Gregorio Cortez was saying
with his pistol in his hand:
" I do n ' t regret having kil led him,
the o ne I'm sorry about is m y bro ther. ..
Gregorio Cortez was saying
with his soul all ablaze:
" I do n ' t regret havi ng killed him,
self·clefense is permitted."
The Americans were riding,
they were fl ying down the wind,
because they were trying to earn
the I 0,000 dollars they would be given .
O n arri ving in Encinal
they succeeded in surrounding him,
just a few m o re than 300 of them ;
there he jumped out of their corral.
T hey loosed the hound dogs o n him
that were tracking his trail,
but catching up with Cortez
was like catching up with a star.
Gregorio Cortez was sayi ng:
" W hat 's the use of all your scheming
if you can ' t even find m e,
not even with these hound dogs? "
Gregorio tells Juan:
" Ver y soon you will see it ;
go and tell the sheriffs
que m e ,·engan a apn:chandt:r .
to come and ar rest me ...
- Di cen que por culpa mia
se h a m atado a mu cha gem e:
yo m e vo y a presem ar
p o rque esto no es co n ve nieme.
" T hey say it ·s m y fa ult
th at man y peopl e h ave been k illed :
I'm going to turn m yse lf in
because this isn ' t right. ..
l'ues ya Grego rio muri 6 ,
ya termin {J Ia cuesti i >11 :
Ia pobre d e su famili a
lo lleva n en el co raziln .
Well Gregori o is alread y dead .
now the matt er is finished :
his po o r famil y
carri es him in their hea rt s.
Yo so y norten o del m ero norte,
yo soy du eno cle mi d o lo r .
ya tengo listo mi p asapo rte.
ya siento libre en mi coraz6n .
Co n eso ten go p a· clesterrarme.
porqu e n o qui er o jam as vol ve r ,
si p or bo rrac ho m e clesprec iaste,
yo p o r ca lumni a n o te deje.
I'm a no rthern er from th e real orth .
I'm m aster o f m y sorro w ;
no w m y passp o rt is read y .
now I feel free in m y heart .
W ith this I have eno ugh to exile m yse lf.
because I neve r wam to return ;
i f yo u sco rned m e for being a drunkard .
I didn ' t leave you beca use o f slander .
I leave singing th rough the little town s.
I leave sea r ching fo r a new love ,
a littl e lover w ho isn ' t cruel -hea rt ed .
to get rid o f m y suffe ring.
l'or los pueblit os m e voy ca ntand o ,
m e voy busca ndo a otro qu erer .
un am o rcito que no sea m alo ,'
asi quitarm e d el p ad ece r .
D es tino ingrato. te est {ts vo lteando ,
tal vez un dia recordaras ,
per o ho mbre ento n ces mu y diferente.
p o rqu e Ia suerte m e cambi ara.
Yo m e d es pido , qui zas pac iem e,
tal vez un dia recordaras .
pe ru ho mbre em o nces mu diferem e,
po rqu e Ia suerte m e cambi ar :i .
l'o r l os pu eblitos m e voy ca ntando ,
me voy busca ndo a o tro qu erer ,
Cruel fortune. your w heel is turning o ver
m aybe so m ed ay you will rem ember .
but th en I'll be a di f ferent m an ,
beca use m y lu ck w ill change .
I bid farewell , perh ap s pati entl y.
m ay be som ed ay you w ill rem ember .
but then I ' ll be a di f ferent man ,
beca use m y lu ck w ill change .
I leave singing thro ugh the littl e to w n s.
I leave sea rching fo r a new love ,
un am o rc ito qu e no sea m alo .
as i quit arnH: del p adece r .
a litJ le Im-c r wh o isn 't cruel -hea rted .
to ge t rid o f m,· suffe ring .
El dia siete d e agosto
est>tbam os d esesp crados ;
que nos saca ro n d el Paso
p ar a Ki ansas m ancornad os .
Nos saca ro n d e Ia co rte
a l as och o d e Ia noc he,
nos llevaro n p ara el dipo ,
n os m ont aro n en un cuche.
Y a viene silba nd o el tren ,
ya repi can l as ca mpan as;
le preg um o a Mister Hill
si vam os a Lo uisiana,
Mister Hill , co n su ri sita ,
m e cont es ta: - 1 o seno r ,
p asa rem os d e Lo ui sian a
d erechi to a Leave n wo rth .
nos vienen co n d os anos ,
o tros con un an o y un dia,
o tros co n di ec ioch o m eses
a Ia peni ten ciari a.
O n th e seventh of August
we we re in desp air;
they too k us f ro m EI Paso
to K ansas in iro ns.
Th ey took us o ut of th e co urth o use
at eight o 'cl oc k at night ,
th ey took us d ow n to the D ep o t ,
th ey put us in a railway coac h .
Whistl e bl ow ing , here co m es th e train .
now the bells are ringing ;
I ask 1r. Hill
i f we are going ro Lo ui si ana.
Mr. Hill , w ith his littl e chu ckl e,
answers m e: '· o , mi ster ,
we w ill by p ass Lo ui siana
straight o n to Lea ven worth ."
Som e co m e w ith t wo years,
o thers w ith a year and a d ay ,
o th ers w ith eighteen m o nth s
in the penitentiar y.
Es bo nito el co ntrabando ,
sc gana mucho diner o ,
pero lo que m as m e puede,
las pe nas d e un prisi o nero .
Pero de eso no hav cuidad o ,
ya Io que paso vo l6 ,
algtm d ia se han de enco ntrar
d o nde m e encontraba yo.
Smuggling is ve r y fine,
you m ak e l o ts of m o ney ,
but w hat rea ll y gets to m e,
the suffe ring o f a prisoner.
But th ere's no worr y abo ut th at.
let b ygo nes be bygo nes ,
som ed ay yo u all w ill find yo urse l ves
w here I was th en .
Ahi tl' ma nd o . ,\ l amac it a.
un suspi ro ,. un abrazo :
aqui dan fin las matia nas
del co ntraba nd o de El Paso .
I am se nding ,·o u. Dea r Mom .
a sig h an d a hug:
he re en ds th e ba ll ad
abo ut th e contraba nd from El Paso .
Ya con ts ta mt: despido .
aqui a prese nc ia de todos.
yo soy Jac int o T rev in o ,
vec in o de Mata mo ros .
Now w ith thi s I bid farewt: ll .
he re in t he presence of all ,
I am Jac into T rev in o ,
a cit ize n of Matamo ros.
Ya con ts ta ,·a n tres veccs
e n qu e sc ve lo ho ni to :
Ia prime ra fue e n McA lle n .
e n Brow ns\·ill e ,. e n Sa n B<.: ni to .
En Ia <.:a ntin a d e Be kar
se agarraro n a balazos :
po r d o ndequi e ra vo laban
bo tell as hec has p<.: dazos .
Esa ca nt ina de Be kar
al mo me nto qued6 so la :
no mas Jac in to Trevi no
de ca rabin a y pistola.
- Entre nl e r inc hes coba rdes .
va lidos de Ia ocas ii>n ,
c reia n que e ra pan bl anco
con tajadas de jamo n .
- Enrre nle rin c hes cobardes .
e l p leito no es con un nino :
qu e ria n conoce r a su pad re .
yo soy Jaci nto T rev ino .
Decia el c he rife mayor ,
con1 o era un arn e rka no :
- iAY qut Jac into tan hombre.
Now wi th th is it makes it three times
th at th e bea ut y of it ca n be seen :
the fi rst rim e ;vas in McA ll e n .
then in Brownsville and in San B<.: nito .
In Bake r 's bar
th <.:y sho t it o ut w it h eac h o th er:
all ove r the pl ace were fl ying
bo ttl es made into lit tle pieces .
Th is ba r o f Ba ke r 's
e m pti ed o ut insta ntly;
o nl y Jacint o T re vino re main ed
w ith a ca rbine a nd a pisto l.
"Co me o n in . yo u cowa rdl y rangers .
ta king ad va ntage of the occas io n ,
yo u be li eved it w as go ing to be
wh it e bread wi th slices of ham ...
"Come o n in , yo u cowa rdl y ra nge rs.
yo ur quarre l is nor w ith a c hil d ;
yo u wa nt ed to meet yo ur fa ther.
we ll. I' m Jac in to Trev in o ."
The High She ri ff was say ing ,
since he was a n Amer ica n :
" Ay . rhar Jaci nto . w hat a man '
he doesn ' t de n y be ing a Mex ica n ' "
Jaci nto Trev in o was say ing:
" You can 't arres t me ,
I'm leav ing fo r Ri o G rande .
I'll w ait fo r yo u ove r the re ...
Esre es el nuevo corrido
q ut: yo lt:s ve ngo a ca ntar ,
de dos he rm anos mu y bue nos
q ue tu vie ro n q ue pe lear .
J uan Lui s uno se llamaba,
y el o tro j ose Ma nue l;
e mpezaro n las discordi as
por una mala mujer.
J uan Luis se llega a una fi esta
co n Ia muje r q ue e l que ria ;
esw prese nte lo re ngo ,
e l ano treint o co rri a.
En e o ll ega su he rm ano
con su guirarra e n Ia mano ,
e mpez6 ca ntando versos
como re tando a su he rmano.
-Oye, Ju an Luis , q ue te digo ,
esa muj e r ya fu e mia.
-No te ngo Ia c ulpa, he rmano,
eso yo no lo sabia .
A su mu y b ue na pistola
j ose Manue l le ec ho ma no;
de dos ba lazos mat6
a Ia mu jer de su he rmano .
- j ose Ma nuel, lo q ue has hecho ,
hoy mismo re va a pesar,
ma taste a lo que que ria ,
con tu vida has de pagar.
This is the bra nd-new corrid o
that I'm go ing to sing to yo u
about two ve ry fi ne bro the rs
w ho had to fig ht each o ther .
O ne was named Juan Lui s,
a nd th e o the r was j ose Manuel;
all the discord began
beca use o f a bad w o man .
Ju an Luis arri ved at a part y
w ith the wo man he loved ;
I have this clea rl y in mind ,
it was during the year of 1930 .
At this po int his brot he r arri ved
w ith his g uitar in his hand ,
he began singing ve rses
as if c halle ng ing his bro the r.
" Liste n , Juan Luis , to w hat I tell you ,
this woman was mine ."
' ' lr 's no t m y fa ult , bro the r,
I didn 't know that ."
j ose Manuel put his hand
to his very fine pisto l;
w ith two bullets he killed
his bro the r's woman .
"Jose Manue l, w hat yo u 've d o ne ,
this very d ay w ill make you sorry,
yo u' ve killed w hat I loved ,
yo u must pay w ith your li fe ."
no ni ega se r tnt:x ica no!
Decia Jacin to Trev ino :
- no me pu ed e n aga rra r.
me voy para Ri o G rande .
all:t los voy a espnar .
Se sa lieron pa ra afuera .
)' se oye ro n los d isparos ;
e n e l q ui cio de un a pue rt a
los dos he rmanos q ueda ro n .
Th ey we m o ut si d e .
and shots were heard ;
o n the thres ho ld of a doorway
the two b rot he rs lay dead .
Fred Zimmerle
& Trio San Antonio
Altho ugh many Tejanos are third and fo urth generatio n Ame ricans, some
o f the ir neighbo rs are recent arri vals from Tamaulipas , Nuevo Leo n, and
o ther regio ns o f o rthern and interio r Mexico. The songs and music w hich
came w ith the people fro m Mexico , especially during the tumultuo us years
o f the Mexican Civil War and Revo lutio n in the 19 10s and 20s , bo rro w ed fro m the brass and acco rdio n bands of the Bo hemians, Italians and
Germans w ho had settled in South Texas during the 19th century in large
numbers. By the 1950s the acco rdi o n had ble nded w ith traditio nal Mexican duet singing to create w hat became known as " Musica No rte iia "
" Conjun to music ," " Tex-Mex " o r simply " Mttsica Regio na l. "
The vio lin , clarinet, flu te , and harp were commo n instruments in Texas
until the 1930s. T he accordio n , however , first used o nl y to perfo rm in strumental d ance music , has becom e so popular since the turn of the century that tod ay it has replaced almost all the o the r instrume nts. In Sa n
Anto nio, the best known pio neer acco rdi o nist was Santiago Jime nez. He
began to record instrum ental d ance tunes in the 1930s and this traditio n
is being carried o n by his sons Flaco Jime nez and Santiago Jimenez Jr ,
w ho are lead ers of po pul ar conjun tos in San Anto nio.
In the late 1940s , Fred Zimmerle combined eleme nts fro m the styles
o f a rei so Ma rtinez (EI H uraca n De l Valle) and Santiago Jime nez (EI Flaco)
to fo rm his ow n unique accordio n sound . To this day Fred leads the very
popular group (conjun to) Trio San An to ni o , w ho take pride in bringing
yo u in this collecti o n some of the o lder music and songs fro m San Anto ni o's Wes t Side!
Fred Zimmerle was bo rn in San Anto nio o n February 13, 193 1. His father,
Willie Zimmerle , played accordio n and his mo ther accompanied him o n
gui tar. Fred 's grandfathe r came fro m Germany and left his very German
name' Three uncles also played music: Jimmie-accordio n, Felix-fiddle , and
Secilio- guitar. o t only his father's generation, but most of Fred 's own o lder
brothers and sisters were musical: Caroline sang , Henry Sr played guitar
and sang, and recorded w ith El Ciego Melquiades and Trio San Antonio ,
and Santiago played bajo and bass and also recorded w ith the Trio. It is
no wonder that Fred , the youngest, learned to play perhaps by sheer osmosis'
In 1945 , Fred took up the acco rdio n afte r his fa ther and abo ut a year
late r o rganized the first T rio San Anto nio. T he ir first reco rds were fo r
RCA Victo r The fo llowed recordings w ith Maxie Granado fo r Bill Q uinn 's
Gold Star labe l, a few sides fo r Alamo , man y fo r Falco and Rio and m o re
fo r Coro na and Ideal.
Over the yea rs Fred 's bro ther He nry o ften sang duet w ith him . At the
time o f these recordings Fred usually used Steve Jaramillo (who passed
away since then) o r o ld time r Andres Berlanga . Fred is ded icated to keeping the o lde r music going but at his d ances he w ill o f course play current
favo rites as well and tries to ad apt hi s style to recent trends. Today T rio
San Anto nio no lo nger plays the ca ntinas and d ance halls all ove r South
Texas as they did in the 19 50s but almost eve ry weekend they are busy
playing fo r the man y soc ial clubs w hich book the conjunto mo nths in
ad vance . In recent years Fred Zimme rle has bee n induc ted into the Conjunto Music Hall of Fame.
Bass playe r Juan Viesca has been known as El Rey De l Co ntrabajo (The
King of the String Bass) aro und San Antoni o fo r m an y yea rs and he is tru ly a re markable musician and personality. Recentl y he has been wo rking
with the po pular acto r and singer Pipo rro and in the 194 0s and 50s he
wo rked w ith Santi ago Jimenez, arc iso Martinez, Pedro Aya la , and T ri o
San Antonio. Mr . Viesca also plays vio lin and contributes much to the
good fee ling and lively spirit o f the gro up .
Andres Be rlanga w as bo rn o n ovembe r 30 , 1907 in Mexico. He came
to the United States w he n he was three by making it ac ross the Rio Bravo
w ith his parent . Hi w ife tod ay still kiddingly refers to Andres as " EI Mojado" ! Andres Berlanga w o rked in the fie lds with his fathe r and in 1930
started to pl ay the guitar . T he first records cam e in the mid 1930s unde r
the guidance o f Tho mas Acuna. The pay was between 40 and 75 fo r
two sides and o nl y a few artists we re o n a royalty co ntract. Making these
earl y records at m ake-shift studios set up at the Grand Ho tel and late r
the Gunter Ho tel in San Antonio he lped in finding jobs. Much o f Berlanga 's
singing was d o ne in the Plaza w he re to urists w o uld ask fo r " La Palo ma ,"
" La Cucarac ha ," and "E I Rancho Grande " but they wo uld o ften pay 25
cents o r even I fo r these songs . In those d ays o f the Great Depressio n
that was good mo ney ! T he regu lar charge then was 10 cents per song.
Es teban " Steve" Jaramillo , fro m Yo rk tow n, Texas, spent his life in the
fie lds and d o ing o the r hard wo rk . With a large fa mily to suppo rt , Steve
e njoyed music as a ho bby and had the eternal ho pe to make it big in the
music business. Fam e , however , o utside his immediate circle o f fans,
fri ends, and relati ves excaped no t o nl y him but the music o f the Tejanos
in general.
(Chris Strac hw itz- 1974 & 1989)
T u pensabas hace rme sufrir
co n decirme que no me querias ,
yo m as tarde vi IUS procederes
y pe nse en el favor que me hacias .
Yo te am aba y tu eras m e delirio ,
te ado r aba y no lo comprendias,
me mirabas, y llo rando de ce los
yo ll o raga, y pues, te reias .
So lo t u destrozaste m e v ida
po rque en ti yo sufri mis qu ereres,
po r tu am or m e o l vide de mis
y desprecie el amo r de omts mujeres .
o m e pesa el haberte querido
n i el am o r que ahi ga te solo en ti ,
so lo espero qu e Dios te castigue
porque tu no m e quieres a m i.
Seguire por el mundo busca ndo ,
co nquistando amo res y pl ace res,
IUS suspiros m e encuemran
llo rando
y m e dicen qu e ya no m e q uieres.
You wer e trying to m ake me suffe r
w hen yo u told me you didn "t love me;
later on I saw w hat you wer e up to ,
and I realized w hat a favor you were
doing me.
I loved yo u delirio usl y ,
I adored you and yo u didn "t understand
you would loo k at me, and weeping
w ith jealo usy
I would cr y , and yo u , you wo uld be
Yo u alo ne des troyed m y li fe ,
because I suf fered all m y love fo r yo u;
for yo ur love I fo rgot abo ut m y parents
and scorned th e love of other women .
It doesn"t bo th er me that I loved you ,
no r th at I expended all m y love o n you ;
1 onl y hope that God puni shes you
because yo u d o n "t love me.
I'll continue o n sea rching thro ugh
the world ,
conquering loves and pleasures ;
your sighs f ind me weeping,
and they tell me you no lo nger love m e.
-~,A mi go ;
" Friend, w hat are you do ing
wandering in this w ilderness? ""
" Friends, I'm wandering in search
of a brown-skinned wo man ·s love."
q ue andas hacie ndo
por esos m o ntes'
- Amigos, and o buscando
el am or de un a m or ena.
Ando hu sca ndo una jo vc n
que m e aro lle y m e duerm a.
po rque en Ia noche n o du ermo .
n o se que seni de m i.
Prietita, supe que es tabas
p o r esos m o m es .
qu e te traji ero n tus padres
p o r no dejart e casa r .
Aunqu e Ia v ida m e cuestc ,
aqui Ia tc ngo que h all ar ,
porque lo que digo, cumplo .
yo nunca m e se r ajar .
Ve ngo en mi caball o pim o
para venirt e a ll evar ,
po rque lo qu e digo , cump lo .
yo nun ca m e se rajar .
Aho ra puedes seguir tu camino
y m as nunca te ac uerdes de m i ,
hazte cuenta que no m e con oc iste
y lo mi sm o yo no te co noci .
Si co n nuevos am ores nos ve m os
ni uno ni o tro se vaya a eno jar .
p o rque yo te lo dije con ti em po :
-No m e esto rbes , ni te h e de esto rbar .
Pobre el ho mbre a quien ttl le fin ges,
qu e n o sabe lo que es Ia mujer ,
q ue no sabe qu e fuistes traidor a,
pe ro pro m o te va a con oce r .
I'm searching fo r a yo ung w o m an
w ho will rock m e and put me to slee p .
beca use I can ' t sleep at night ;
I do n 't kn ow w h at w ill beco m e o f m e.
Little darling , I fo und o ut th at yo u
w ere so mew here in this w ilderness.
th at your p arents bro ught yo u here
so as n ot to let yo u m arr y .
Even if it cos ts m e m y life.
I must find h er here,
beca use I keep m y word ;
I've neve r kn o wn hO\V to be a co w ard .
I com e riding o n m y pint o ho rse
to com e and take you away ,
beca use I keep m y w o rd :
I've never know n how to be a cowa rd.
ow yo u can go o n yo ur way
and neve r be reminded o f m e;
ge t it straight : you neve r m et m e,
and I neve r m et yo u.
If we see each o ther w ith new love rs.
let neither o f us get m ad ,
beca use I told yo u ahead o f time:
" D o n ' t get in m y way and I won ' t
ge t in yo urs ...
I pit y the gu y fo r wh o m yo u put o n
an act ,
he does n ' t kn ow w h at yo u are, woman .
he does n 't kno w you we re a chea t ,
but he' ll get to know you qui ck enough .
Ya m e voy . nK despido confo rm e.
ya m e ,·oy por el mund o a n avegar .
voy en busea d e nu evos am o res :
- No m e estorbes . ni te he d e
estorbar .
Now I take nw lea ve . I hid farewell
com em edl y·.
now I'm leav ing to w ander th e w o rld .
I'm leav ing in search of new loves:
" Don 't ge t in m y way and I wo n ' t
get in yo urs ...
Yo m e en am o re de una muj er .
pensa ndo en que ella m e am aba.
m e dese ngaiie de sus procederes ,
y de mi am o r se burl aba,
Peru anda ingr ata.
yo te perdono .
ali a lo veras co n Di os ,
si acaso vas a Ill tro no .
Yo no te abo rresco ni soy vengati vo ,
ni m enos co n las mujeres ,
tu am or tiene mancha. yo soy un testigo,
sin duda co n ell a muere.
I fell in love with a wom an
thinking th at sh e loved me ;
I was disillusio ned b y her ways .
and she m oc ked m y love.
Pero anda ingr ata,
yo te perdo n o .
ali a lo veres co n Di os.
si acaso vas a Ill t ron o .
Yo bien quisiera decirt e lo que siem o
pero hoy no puedo
decirte mi p asi6 n .
Si ttl pudieres ca lmar m i su frimi ento
ya tiene dueiio ,
ingrato coraz6 n ,
ya tiene dueiio , ingrato coraz6n .
But go o n , cruel w o m an .
I forgi ve yo u,
)'Ou can take care of it with God :.
i f b y ch ance yo u sho uld reac h
Heaven .
I do n ' t despise yo u no r am I ve nge ful .
still less so with w o m en ;
yo ur love bea rs a stain , as I 'm a witness ,
and w ith that m ark , it surel y dies.
But go o n , cru el wom an ,
I forgi ve yo u.
yo u ca n take ca re of it with God ,
i f b y ch ance yo u sho uld reach Heave n .
I rea ll y wa nt to tell yo u w hat I fee l
but tod ay I just ca n ' t
tell you abo ut m y pass io n .
If yo u co ul d o nl y ease m y suffering,
but your cruel hea rt
alread y has an o wner .
yo ur cruel hea rt alread y h as an o wner .
Ay busca, busca
a un ser mas poderoso
y qu e te pu eda
tu am o r corresponder.
Asi no puedes no mbrarm e po r esposo
ni yo pu edo
no mbrarte mi muj er,
que desve ntura , que di cha sin pl ace r.
Asi algun dia con o tro amante sufres ,
haz un rec uerdo
de aque l qu e fue el que am6.
De aque l que siempre a ti
te fue constante
y lo arrojaste .
Con tan cruel rigo r
lo despreciastes ,
con tan crue l rigor.
Ay , go loo k, sea rch
for a mo re powerful bei ng
who might be abl e to
return your love.
That way you can 't call me husband
and I can ' t ca ll you my w ife ;
what mi sfo rtune! what pl eas ureless
good fo rtune
So someday when you ' re suffering
w ith ano ther lover
remember the guy who loved you.
Remember the guy w ho was always
faithful to yo u ,
and whom yo u cast away .
With such cold-hearted cruelt y
you spurned him ,
w ith such co ld -hearted crue lt y.
Para empeza r a ca ntar
pido permiso primero;
se no res , son las mananas
de Benjamin Argumedo .
Doy detalle en realidad ,
que fue el veintiocho de ene ro ;
aprehedieron a Alanis
y a Benjamin Argumedo .
Echaro n a Be njamin
en un carro como fl ete ;
pasaron po r Sa n Miguel ,
ll ega ro n a Sombrerete .
Cuando Argum edo san6 ,
que se le lleg6 su dia ;
To begin singing
I first as k permi ss io n;
ge ntlemen , this is the ballad
of Benjam in Argumedo.
This is exactl y what happened ,
it was the 28t h of january;
they captured Alanis
and Benjamin Argumedo.
They threw Be njamin
into a boxcar like freight ;
they passed thro ugh San Miguel ,
they arri ved in So mbrerete .
When Argum edo got well ,
the fatal da y arri ved ;
lo fueron a presentar
o n <:1 ge nera l Murguia .
- Oiga d ., mi ge nera l.
vo tambien fui ho mbre va li e nte ;
quiero que Ud . me afusile
en presencia de Ia ge nre .
Lu ego qu e Arg umed o vio
que no se le co ncedi a ,
e l no demostraba mi edo .
antes mejo r se so nreia .
Ya co n es ta me despido
po rqu e ca nt ar ya no puedo;
se no res , so n las mananas
de Benjamin Argum edo .
they took him to be presented
before Ge ne ral Murguia .
" Li sten , my ge nera l,
I too ha ve been a brave man ;
I wa nt yo u to ha ve me sho t
in the presence of all the people .··
When Argumedo saw
that hi s req uest wo uld not be granted ,
he showed no fea r ,
better ye t , he was smiling .
Now with this I bid farewell
beca use I ca n sing no mo re ;
ge ntl emen , thi s is the ballad
of Be nj amin Argumedo .
For our complete CATA LOG of hundreds of CDs, Cassettes, LPs, &
Videos plus a recent issue of the DOWN HOME MUSIC CO. NEWSLETTER, send S2 to cover p ostage to:
1034 1 San Pab lo Avenue
El Ce rrito , CA 94 530 USA
Los Pingiiinos del Norte &~eel Zimmerle'sTrio San Antonio
Over 60 Minutes of Classic TEX/MEX
1. El Desesperado (Corrido)
2. Gregorio Cortez (Corrido)
3. Yo Soy Norteiio (Ranchera)
4. Contrabando del Paso (Corrido)
5. jacinto Treviiio (Corrido)
6. El Gallito (1-luapango)
7. Los Dos Hermanos (Corrido)
8. Tu Pensabas Hacerme Sufrir
Por Esos Montes (Canci6n)
Viva El West Side (Polka)
No Me Estorbes (Canci6n)
Yo Me Enamore (Canci6n)
Yo Bien Quisiera (Canci6n)
La Chlvita (Redova)
Borracho Perdido (Ranchera)
En La Sombra (Canci6n)
Benjamin Argumedo (Corrido)
Sclcctions#l -7& 17 b)'LOSPI GL'INOSDEL ORTE:
Ruben Castillo - vocals & accordion; Hilario Gart:invocab & guitar: Ricardo Escalante- ba".
Selection> #8- 16 b)' FRED ZIM~I ERLE"S TRIO SA ' ANT0'10: Fred Zimmerle- vocals & accordion: StcveJar-Jmillo\'OGtb & bajo sex to; Andrt'> Berlanga - nx:ab & bajo >ex to:
Juan Vie;c:t-bas>.
In Piedras Negras. Coahuila, just aero's the river from E:tgk
Pa"· Texa, on the kxican ;ide of the Hio Grande. Lo'
Pingi:tinos Del ortc recorded thc>e important and popular
corridos (ballads) live at a c:tntina. Included is EL CORRIDO
DE GREGORIO CORTEZ which wa; the basb for the excellent film "'The Ballad Of Gregorio Cortez"' (Emb:L")' Pictures) directed b)' Robert Young and 'tarring EdwardJamc'
Olmos a; Gregorio Cortez.
Fred Zimmerle, from San Antonio. Texas. is one of the
fine;t accordionbts anywhere and ha.' led Trio San Antonio
since the earl)' 1950s.· Polkas and r-Jnchera; are their ;pccialt)' with emotional duet >inging. Also feawred b the
>uperb and energetic Juan Viesca on string ba".
Produced and recorded by Chri' Strachwitz.
9629- 70311 -2
© & ® by
Arhoolie Productions I nc.
CD 311

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