Arhoolie in the news: “Corrido Heaven”

Here’s a bit from Lawrence Downes’ feature article, “In Los Angeles, Songs Without Borders,” from the Travel section of this Sunday’s New York Times (August 16, 2009):

“In clubs, bars, swap meets and concert halls, from car radios and ringing cellphones, you will hear corridos, old-time folk ballads in the banda and norteño styles. ‘Corridos are part of the literature of the common people,’ wrote Chris Strachwitz, who founded Arhoolie Records and has spent a lifetime collecting and studying traditional Mexican music.”

And this a little further down:

“For armchair travelers, Arhoolie Records ( has a vast corrido catalog. You can also explore the Frontera Collection ( to which Chris Strachwitz, the head of Arhoolie, donated tens of thousands of 78 and 45 r.p.m. records. The collection is being digitized and made available to the public online, which can put you in corrido heaven for years and years to come.”

Find the whole article, some musical example and a slideshow here:

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.