His first group Los Carlistas represented Arizona at the 1939 New York World's Fair, and performed on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour on radio. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s, and had a few uncredited roles in movies, including Boots and Saddles and His Kind of Woman. He recorded for Imperial Records and fronted the Trio Imperial. He also formed his own orchestra and toured throughout the Southwest. He performed at the La Bamba club in Hollywood, a place frequented by the biggest stars in the movie business.
In the 1960s, he bought a night club in Los Angeles and renamed it Lalo's. Guerrero in 1992 at a tribute in Palm Desert, California: "Lalo has chronicled the events of the Hispanic in this country a lot better than anyone." He worked closely with Chavez for farmworkers' rights and lent voice to the movement with the song, "No Chicanos On TV." In the 1940s he became a good friend of the Ronstadt family of Arizona, in particular Gilbert Ronstadt, father of popular vocalist Linda Ronstadt. Linda recalls childhood memories of Guerrero serenading her. At his funeral, Linda sang a traditional Mexican song in tribute. Guerrero's earliest Pachuco compositions were the basis of the Luis Valdez stage musical, Zoot Suit. He even wrote children's songs presented via his "Las Ardillitas," or "Three Little Squirrels", a Latin-American version of Ross Bagdasarian's "Alvin and the Chipmunks". His first American hit was "Pancho López", a parody of the popular 1950s hit "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett".
Guerrero used the Davy Crockett melody and wrote his own lyrics, telling the story of a legendary Mexican character. The song was popular in both Spanish and English. However, due to criticism Guerrero received over this song, he never performed it publicly, not wanting to contribute to an inappropriate stereotype. Guerrero went on to record several more parody songs, including "Pancho Claus," "Elvis Perez," "Tacos For Two" (to the tune of "Cocktails For Two"), and "There's No Tortillas" (to the tune of "O Sole Mio").
Guerrero recorded his last full CD on Break Records, a Los Angeles based record label, this at age 83. This would become his last music CD. The recording are a collection of Guerrero's best "Zoot Suit" compositions of Latin swing "Pachuco" music. The music CD was produced by music producer Benjamin Esparza who would became Guerrero's trusted friend during his last years.
Guerrero was married for over 34 years to his wife Lidia Guerrero. They both lived in Cathedral City, California for over 28 years. The Musical CD contained new recordings of his 1940's "Pachuco" swing music which was used in the Broadway play and Universal Pictures movie "Zoot Suit". The play was written and directed by Luis Valdez.
The CD "Vamos A Bailar-Otra Vez" was produced by Esparza and Justo Almario of Break Records. Guerrero was officially declared a national folk treasure by the Smithsonian Institution in 1980 and was presented with the National Medal of Arts in 1996 by then United States President Bill Clinton. In 1992 Guerrero received the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment of the Arts. In late 2005 Guerrero was posthumously inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. Guerrero died on March 17, 2005 at the Vista Cove Assisted Living facility located in Rancho Mirage, California. After suffering a gradual decline in health.
Guerrero died with Lidia his wife, his son Jose Guerrero, his daughter Patrica, and his granddaughter Alana at his side. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more