Lowrider Oldies - The Timeless Classics Live On!

by Adrian Cavlan

Funny thing - with so much musical division between generations, one culture that seems to have a leg up on this is our local Mexican-American community.

When we have the pleasure of playing these parties, we always know that everyone in the room will be dancing together, enjoying not only the usual mix of Cumbia, Banda and Norteno currents and classics, but also an almost sacred curation of specially selected and meaningful soul and latin rock songs that some refer to as Lowrider Oldies.

So - what is it about these Lowrider Oldies? What gives them this timeless appeal and enough crossover cool that middle school kids will request them at their dances, singing along to all the words and enjoying them just as much as the new Fetty Wap track or latest EDM banger?

It’s hard to say exactly, but never underestimate the power of culture!

So a couple of things to point out before I drop a baker’s dozen of ‘em on ya:

Here’s the series that kind of started it all:

And we should probably give a shout out to Art Laboe and to Thump! Records, both of whom, in their own ways, have done so much to promote the original music and later developments in it.

Alright: here’s 13 firme rolas for ya! 

  1. I’m Your Puppet - James & Bobby Purify

  2. Sleepwalk - Santo & Johnny

  3. Try Me - James Brown

  4. Tracks Of My Tears - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

  5. Earth Angel - The Penguins

  6. Angel Baby - Rosie & The Originals

  7. Smile Now, Cry Later - Sunny Ozuna

  8. Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville

  9. Always & Forever - Heatwave

  10. Suavecito - Malo

  11. Cruising - Smokey Robinson

  12. Tell Her She’s Lovely - El Chicano

  13. Be Thankful For What You Got - William DeVaughn

 Just the tip of the iceberg though… ENJOY!

Adrian Cavlan