Over the next couple of weeks, I thought I’d revisit some music from regions I hadn’t been back to since the early days of the blog. With the spirit of Lydia Mendoza in mind, and after a recent viewing of Chulas Fronteras instigated by my friend Chimatli, I thought I’d spin some more early Tejano music from the Texas-Mexico border.
Alejandro Luna and Regino Delgado recorded several sides for Victor’s Depression-era, budget-conscious subsidiary label Bluebird in the mid-1930s, including this one, “Sal A Tus Puertas” (meaning “Come To Your Doors” – thanks, Dax). This particular track was recorded at the Texas Hotel in San Antonio on January 25th, 1935, and the duo accompany themselves on guitar and bajo sexto.
The Bluebird “ethnic” series began in about 1934 and lasted until 1939, totalling about 1400 records. The recording industry had been crushed by the Depression, but Victor, in large part due to their Bluebird subsidiary (which also released country, blues, jazz and pop), were able to ride out the difficult times. For example, in the late-teens, it was not uncommon for a 78rpm record to cost $1.00, or even $1.25. Very pricey, considering. Well, by the early 30s, with sales in the tank and record companies folding left and right, Bluebird records went on sale for 35 cents.
Finding Mexican or cajun records on the Bluebird ethnic series is possible, but it is quite difficult to find them in decent condition. Today’s track has some wear, but we embrace surface noise here at Excavated Shellac, though we try to soften it up just a little bit! Plus, it’s an enjoyable piece of music that has not yet been compiled or written about…
Luna y Delgado – Sal A Tus Puertas
Issue Number: B-2317
Matrix number: n/a
13 thoughts on “Luna y Delgado – Sal A Tus Puertas”
My Spanish is far from perfect, but isn’t “Sal” in the title from the verb “salir,” “to go out”? The singer mentions “yo en la calle” (“I in the street”) and asks the person addressed to give him “un abrazo, un besito” (“an embrace, a little kiss”)–I think maybe the title means something like “Come outside,” though I defer to more exert interpreters.
You might be right! I don’t know either – but will change the post appropriately if I receive something more definitive…
This is a serenade, typical of Mexican songster and mariachi traditions. He’s sleepless, out on the street, below her window, begging her to come to the door and give him a hug and a kiss.
Thanks, Dax. And the title correctly translates to…?
The title literally means “Come To Your Doors”. Maybe this girl is overly protected or perhaps she lives in a dangerous neighborhood. Otherwise she’d have just one door like the rest of us.
Excellent – thanks for that. I’ll change the post!
I like this music. In fact, most guitar-based music on this series I enjoy quite a bit. This one is relatively early in Bluebird’s series…they started recording music in San Antonio in March of ’34.
Very nice! And especially appreciated today now that they’ve canceled my favorite musical radio show, Asi es Mi Tierra. The morning Sunday show featured similar music of the 40s and 50s era, along with live poetry by the host. I guess the radio station felt the listeners could not live without another hour of annoying Duranguense and treacly, generic love ballads.
Thanks too for the link, always honored!
Nice one again Jon, great work! Now I have learned about a new instrument too – bajo sexto. Reminiscent of Leadbelly’s twelve-string sound.
great! you can hear stuff like this any day in San Francisco…guys strolling up and down the street stopping to play for 15 minutes at each taqueria….
as a newbie to this site i just want to say “wow” – great stuff here and i get the feeling i’ll be spending a lot of time just playing old songs. (which i do at home too – only here in Australia there’s not so much ‘world’ music but a lot of old country and jazz – very anglophile/american based… still it makes for interesting nights on the old record player.
Thanks, and welcome!
Alejandro Luna was my grandfather……I was surprised to hear him & very pleased.
Alejandro Luna is the Bajo Sexto player, but which of the two singers is he? The lead singer or the Harmony?
Alejandro Luna was my father-in-law.