In 1928, as part of the family group Cuarteto Carta Blanca, she made her first recordings for the OKeh company in San Antonio. In the early thirties, Mendoza came to the attention of Manuel J. Cortez, a pioneer of Mexican-American radio broadcasting. Her live radio performances set the stage for her recordings for the Blue Bird label in 1934.
One of her recordings, "Mal Hombre", became an overnight success, and led to an intensive schedule of touring and recording. After World War II, Mendoza recorded for all the major Mexican-American record labels. One of the relatively few songs she personally wrote, and a personal favorite, was "Amor Bonito", dedicated to her husband. Lydia Mendoza continued performing and recording until slowed by a stroke in 1988.
In 1982, she became the first Texan to receive a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship. In 1999, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Many of her recordings are still available including those issued by DLB Records a Texas-based label specializing in South Texas Spanish language music and Arhoolie Records, a California-based label specializing in the release of regional forms of American music. Lydia Mendoza died on December 20, 2007, in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 91. She is interred at San Fernando Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. A Texas Historical Commission Marker number 16BX04 was approved for Lydia Mendoza's grave in February 2016. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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