Origin: East Los Angeles, California
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Los Lobos is a Grammy Award winning American rock band from East Los Angeles, California. Their music is influenced by rock and roll, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk, R&B, blues, and brown-eyed soul. Los Lobos gained international fame in 1987 when their cover version of Richie Valens’ “La Bamba” topped the charts.
High school classmates David Hidalgo (vocalist and guitarist) and Louie Perez (drummer) bonded over their mutual affinity for obscure musical acts such as Fairport Convention, Randy Newman, and Ry Cooder. The duo spent hours listening to records, playing guitars, and writing songs. Soon they were creating multi-track recordings spanning parody songs to free form jazz on borrowed reel-to-reel recorders. They soon enlisted fellow students Frank Gonzalez, Cesar Rosas, (vocalist and guitarist) and Conrad Lozano (bass) to round out the group in 1973.
Originally calling themselves Los Lobos del Este (de Los Angeles) (“The Wolves of the East Los Angeles,”) they shortened it to Los Lobos to avoid confusion with a band with a similar name from the same area.
Los Lobos major label debut 1984’s How Will the Wolf Survive? was a critical if modest success. It wasn’t until 1987 when they recorded some covers of Richie Valens’ songs for the La Bamba film soundtrack that brought the band mainstream success with a number one single of the film’s title song. Throughout the late 1980’s early 90’s the band toured extensively throughout the world opening for such acts as Bob Dylan, U2, and the Grateful Dead. The band also recorded a lively version of the Dead standard “Bertha” for a Dead tribute album. The song became a highlight in Los Lobos’ live shows.
In 1995 Los Lobos released the critically acclaimed and bestselling record Papa’s Dream. The band also scored the film Desperado with the album track “Mariachi Suite” winning a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental.
In 2011 Los Lobos was awarded the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and received a 2015 nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Los Lobos 2015 album Gates of Gold achieved critical and commercial success.
Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM plays Los Lobos. All part of 50 years of Rock, Blues and More, 24-7 on our station’s stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/