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Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan - Their First Recordings: 1937-1947

CAT. #: 7015

Price: $15.00

CD 7015

Today mariachi music has become the national musical symbol of Mexico. Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, founded almost 100 years ago, became known as "The World's Greatest Mariachi" during the 1950s. The performances on this CD are the group's historic first recordings from 1937 - 1947. CD includes 32-page booklet with song transcriptions and translations and historic photos.

1. El Buque - (cancion)
2. El Tren - (son)
3. La Violinera - (son)
4. Serenata Ranchera - (cancion)
5. Eres La Mas Consentida - (cancion)
6. El Riflero - (son)
7. Lupita - (cancion)
8. El Jilguerillo - (son)
9. El Mariachi - (cancion)
10. Santa Anita - (son)
11. La Vaquilla - (son)
12. Las Alazanas - (son, instrumental)
13. El Suchil - (son)
14. La Mariquita - (son)
15. El Zopilote Mojado - (pasa doble, instr.)
16. Sobre La Montana - (polka, instrumental)
17. El Cuervo - (son)
18. El Calero - (son)
19. El Toro Viejo - (son)
20. El Jarabe Tapatio
21. El Amigo - (son)
22. El Gavilancillo - (son)
23. El Cihualteco - (son)
24. Camino Real De Colima - (son)


“Archival label outdoes itself on this sparkling 24-song compendium of galloping sones and rancheras from `The World's Greatest Mariachi.' The sound restoration of original 78s is superb, not to mention Jonathan Clark's informative liner notes on the history of mariachi.”


“Most everyone, whether Latino or Anglo, has an idea ofwhat mariachi music is all about. One of those ideas involves the stereo-type of a guy with a trumpet wearing an oversized sombrero. The basic thinking is , that if you don't have that, you don't have mariachi music. Of course, the concept is totally wrong.

You can trace a lot of mariachi music's history by listening to this recently released compact disc. The CD comprises the famous mariachi group's recordings made between 1937 and 1947. In the annals of mariachi music, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan is considered the supergroup by which all other groups are measured. But when the group started playing in the small village of Tecalitlan, Jalisco in 1898 it consisted of just a violin, harp and a small five-string guitar known as a guitarra de golpe.

Obviously, it was totally unlike today's mariachi groups that often number between 10 and 20 musicians.

The early Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan didn't wear `big hats' and charro suits with the shiny studs on the pants. When Mariachi Vargas headed out for its first big gig (in Tijuana), they dressed in the traditional garb of the Indians and peasants of Jaliscoloose, white cotton muslin pants with a red sash, straw hats and a red bandana worn around the neck.

Later on, the group went to Guadalajara to compete in a national mariachi contest wearing this same garb, even though their competitors sported flashy charro suits and sombreros. Much to their suIprise, Mariachi Vargas won the contest. It turned out that musicnot flashy appearancewas the deciding factor. It's this exceptional music that's spotlighted on this 70 minute, 24-track CD.

For mariachi fans, the release is something of a revelation because many of the tracks don't even have a trumpet. The reason? Silvestre Vargas, the musical director during the '30s and '4Os, wanted to keep the group as a string ensemble. But in the late '40s, Vargas relented and began to feature trumpeter Miguel Martinez. Several of Martinez's early performances are featured on the CD.”

(Ben Taverna King — San Antonio Express News)