Frank Louis Fouce Interview

In this fascinating interview Mr. Fouce gives a real insiders look at the Spanish language music business in Los Angeles, going back to the 1930’s, He talks about bringing entertainers to his theaters, and especially about Lydia Mendoza and her family.

Frank Louis Fouce and his father Franck Fouce were an impresarios of Spanish-language entertainment in Los Angeles starting in the 1930’s. They owned or produced shows at the Mason Opera House, California, Liberty, Mayan, Roosevelt and Million Dollar Theaters and produced shows by such entertainers as Lydia Mendoza, Dolores del Rio, Lupita Tovar, Maria Felix, Agustin Lara, Miguel Aceves Mejia, Maria Victoria, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Jose Feliciano, Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez, Los Polivoces, Celia Cruz, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, Mariachi Estrellas de Mexico de Lupita Morales and Mariachi Las Coronelas de Carlota Noriega.

Frank L. Fouce later went on to be a co-founder of the TV network Univision.

This interview was conducted by Chris Strachwitz while doing research for the book Lydia Mendoza – A Family Autobiography, compiled and introduced by Chris Strachwitz and James Nicolopulos (Arte Público Press, University of Houston)

  • Frank Fouce Interview 00:00
Interviewee: Frank Louis Fouce
Interviewer: Chris Strachwitz
Date: Early ’90s
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Language: English

This is an interview originally recorded for research purposes. It is presented here in its raw state, unedited except to remove some irrelevant sections and blank spaces. All rights to the interview are reserved by the Arhoolie Foundation. Please do not use anything from this website without permission.

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.