Carlos y jose

The border region between the U.S. and Mexico is a unique and sometimes bleak place, with a distinct, self-sufficient culture and music. But as increasing numbers of norteños crossed the border to find work in the U.S. in the second half of the 20th century, they found themselves marginalized or even criminalized, living in unfamiliar urban surroundings and hungry for a taste of home. For nearly 40 years, the norteño duo Carlos y José offered that taste. Accordionist and vocalist Carlos Tierranegra and bajo sexto player José Rodriguez had known each other since they were kids growing up in Nuevo León, Mexico. They shared a love of music, and they officially formed their eponymous duo in Camargo, Tamaulipas, in 1968. They recorded their first album in 1969, singing and playing stark, traditional acoustic norteño music, which marries bouncy polkas and waltzes (a gift from German and Czech immigrants) with haunting, closely harmonized twin vocals. Their first regional hit was 1970’s “La Cosecha,” but it was a decade before they released the transformative “El Chubasco” in 1981. That song, with its simple story of a heartbroken young man, set them on a course for enduring fame. Although they sang corridos, they made their name with love songs like the sweet, intimate “Flor de Capomo.” The pair were unbelievably prolific, releasing nearly 90 albums over the course of their 40-year career. Rodriguez dissolved the duo in 2008 to pursue a solo career but died just a year later; Tierranegra succumbed to a heart attack in 2015. The duo remains a beloved act in both Mexico and the U.S.

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Carlos y Jose are one of the longest running and most successful groups in traditional norteño music with over 85 albums to their credit. Carlos Salazar (voice and accordion) founded the band in General Teran, Nuevo Leon, though they began their professional career in Camargo, Tamaulipas in 1968. Their first two hits were with the corrido singles «El Nuevo Albur de Amor» and the lament «La Mata de Sandia.» These songs were played on the powerful border radio stations that broadcast from Mexico and throughout the southwest and into the midwest, and reached migrant workers and immigrant families who purchased their music en masse. They furthered their success with a string of hits in their homeland such as «Estrellita del Norte al Oriente,» «Yo Tambien Soy de Teran,» «La Carta Que Te Mande, «Cuentame Tus Penas,» «Pistoleros Famosos,» and many others. Carlos y Jose toured relentlessly all over Mexico and in the U.S. — California, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona — developing a loyal following. The group reached superstar status when their international smash «El Chubasco» shattered all Mexican sales records, and spread their fame to Florida, Puerto Rico, and throughout Central and South America. Their songs — and sometimes the band itself — have appeared in over 24 films, including Pistoleros Famosos La Coyota, and La Muerte del Palomo, and on Mexican and Puerto Rican television countless times. They have been nominated for numerous Latin Grammys, and won seven Gold and four Platinum recordings. They have also won the Aztec Gold Calendar Yuri award. Their 2013 album, Cabalgando por el Pacífico: En Vivo, is a music and video package that again put them on Billboard’s Regional Mexican chart. In 2017, EMI/Universal began an aggressive reissue campaign that saw ten of their best-known albums re-released. International Musical Treasures proffered two multi-artist compilations: Duelo de Leyendas with Luis y Julian and Norteñas Llegadoras, a three-artist offering that that added Adolfo Urias. Meanwhile, AJR Records released a studio offering in June of 2017 titled 20 Rancheras. ~

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