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Nostalgia "A LA 1960"

Bonus article: The Kingsmen's infamously innocent 'Louie, Louie' back in front of the feds at downtown Federal Building

We went to an “Antique Show” somewhat fitting to the theme that I am introducing … Music from the 50’s and 60’s!

In summer of 2009 we attended a function at the Expo Center in Portland, Oregon.  KISN was featured in the main foyer where we spent most of our time!

Indeed we were “Sweet 16+” when we first met.  As much as we remember our early years as Migrants in Oregon, one experience seems to dominate our early start!

A special ERA as we embrace the “Americana Experience” we remember.  People who are in the 60+ bracket will no doubt agree of this SPECIAL AGE!  And as all teenagers, we are as partial to our group as any other group from the past or even our contemporaries. But our group was more authentic…☺…RIGHT?

GOING DANCING  The price was not bad as many times the music groups were trying to make a name for themselves and introduce their recent “Master Piece”…☺  Using the Free Admission enticer was a way to guarantee and audience.

Mr. Roger Hunter a former disc jockey still had a distinct voice and he would talk to me as he continued to set up his booth. His pride of the ERA so special was evident. He was also not shy about expressing his feelings about music then and music now!

I did not ask Mr. Hart his age, but if he was a disc jockey when I was a teen he had had to be “6 reales +”… or about six-bits to be exact. This is a Tejanismo and also an expression to deal with quantity, or it could be ¾ of a Century; with the spirit of a Young Man!

It is worth mentioning that Portland, Oregon launched the career of “the Kingsmen”  who became known for their song Louie-Louie” 50 years ago, ½ Century or two generations take your pick either way FATHER TIME HAS NO MERCY; lucky to have been there at the opening!

According to some folks who remember Lidia and me as teenagers; we were quite the dance couple or so we thought!

“Chiflados” (show-offs) is a term that some people use to describe these young kids who were going steady (Miguel and Lidia) who danced and socialized as if they had blinders.  We did our thing as anyone else, but a little different. 

DATING in the mid 60’s was TABOO among Mexican-Americans.  Our dating practice which was well known around town was to meet down town stand in our favorite corner people watch; well, see the girls go by.  Creativity on how to meet a girl or let her know one’s interest,  tested our wit, talent or sometimes our lack of social skills.  No phone in most of the households and parents who stood on CULTURAL PRINCIPALS made it very difficult for a boy to meet a girl and even more difficult for a girl to go meet a boy. 

Americans?  Lidia and I broke this barrier; progressive we were not, but I think we were trend setters or we did not mind “taking a chance.”  Her sweet mother never approved of the practice as she was more than OLD FASHION.

Here is Lidia right at home with the KISN memorabilia.  I might add that Lidia in the mid 60’s was among the fortunate Mexican Americans as she had her own radio and the family owned a black and white TV.  A stable home with her dad holding a full time job and good benefits was something to be THANKFUL for.  These conditions would regard  her as a persona de privilegio (privileged person).  Additionally, she drove the family car; she was the modern Mexican-American.  She was not driving a T-Bird as in the American Graffiti Movie, but she did drove a 1964 baby-blue and white hard-top Chevy; what else?  Most Mexican-American people preferred Chevrolets over any other brand; thus Chevy ☺

The songs from the 1960’s and the movie “American Graffiti” gives anyone an idea of what was “Happening” back then!  Frankly, and honestly and without regrets or bad feelings most Mexican Americans were on the outside looking in.  The cultural divide and the nuance of being among Anglo people created a compass that would repel rather than to bring together.  In a unique way,  one could see our our social setting as having our own  “Mexican-Graffiti”

NOSTALGIA A LAS 60’S    One has to take into account variables such as:  Voting Rights were a not 100% guarantee, Civil Rights of 1964 created social, cultural and racial tensions, most migrant workers had part time jobs, one of our Presidents had been assassinated and most of us did not have a permanent home.

MIGRANTES were easily detectable at school, down town, church and places around town.  We were seen as “visitors” and people who for the most part worked in the fields. 

A bitter-sweet experience as most of us remember; and most of us appreciate…CARAMBA…que pronto pasa el TIEMPO!


Miguel A. Salinas Pionero, Historiador, Autor


I can’t leave this subject without uttering the famous lyrics to the song that made “The Kingsmen” a household name; kids liked it and parents…well…I will let you decide.  Perhaps my dad was partially right when he used to hear the music… and within seconds he would scream ”Apagale a ese mugrero”… Turn that garbage off!  All I could do was to pretend that I was not hearing.  Hi rhetoric just helped me understand his disapproval.

LATER IN LIFE   I would find out that my dad was in love with the SUPREMES!  His favorite was who else, but Dianna Ross.  My dad would lose his hearing five years before his passing and would enjoy the early music videos even without sound.  This tells me that he did not care about the music but perhaps….D….:-)

Lyrics to the best of recollection…

“Louie Louie”
“A Louie.Louie.Louie.
Oh baby said we got to go..

Not exactly a vocabulary building activity, but “The Kingsmen” did not care as Million$$$$ were made.

Oh…if we could only have another group like “The Kingmen” to bring the country back together.   This YEAR 2013 is becoming a buffet of politica like we have never seen before.  I honestly yearn for earlier times.

A NOTE TO MY DAD:  I have gotten to know my dad in a special way now that he is gone.  People around him from the same town, labor camp or his compadres RECALL things I never knew.  Thus, much of what I do in this website is to HONOR my dad and my mom. 

SPECIAL NOTE   To our visitor to the website the topic or content will have no meaning. What I do hope will bring meaning is the message behind the story.

“Para vivir hay que morir”

Sometimes our absence creates another LIFE that defines US!
Take a look around you…What will DEFINE you?  Do you have a similar experience?  

I better stop here.. for I am now arching into another SONG from a special ERA!

To the visitor: Full Nostalgia is as close as your fingertips...go to you tube and listen to "Louie-Louie"
In some way it is frightening to think that it was 50 years ago. PONDER ON THIS-What kind of reaction
would I have given my dad, had he suggested me to check a song from his past in 1960. This would have meant a song from 1910; Hmm...Reaction, I will leave you guessing:-)


Nostalgia a la 1960 dancing KISN radio