Rare, Old Spanish Songs From California Available Online

The Autry Museum has posted a collection of old, Spanish songs recorded in the early 20th century in California. Charles Lummis, founder of Los Angeles' Southwest Museum, created the cache to capture what he felt were the vanishing folkways of old California. What's fascinating is that Lummis saw his work as archaeology and recognized that the new recording technology of the day could be used to create artifacts that could be considered as such. He wrote an article in 1905 explaining his endeavor entitled, "Catching Archaeology Alive."

If you head to the site, my favorite song is first on their list, Blanca Paloma, sung by Manuela Garcia. Here's her quick bio:

One of the most prolific singers was Manuela García, whose family lived in an adobe on South Olive Street in Los Angeles. In 1904 and 1905, García recorded approximately 150 songs for Lummis. (In the records, there are several statements for payments to Garcia for between $4.00 and $20.00) Musicologist John Koegel has theorized that many of the songs García recorded are more recent in California, having arrived with Mexican immigrants in the second half of the 19th Century. In addition to singing for Lummis, García gave him her notebook containing the words to 149 songs. During recordings, García was accompanied by a blind guitarist of Mexican descent named Rosendo Uruchurtu.
Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In