The Legends: Los Tigres del Norte
With half a dozen Grammys, and sales in the tens of millions, Los Tigres del Norte--The Tigers of the North--has become the most famous band mainstream America never heard of. Watch LATIN MUSIC USA Friday, April 28 and Friday, May 5 at 9/8C on PBS (check local listings).
♪ Soy el jefe de jefes, señores ♪
SMITS: With half a dozen Grammys,
and sales in the tens of millions,
Los Tigres del Norte, "The Tigers of the North," has become
the most famous band mainstream America never heard of.
They pack arenas all across the country,
and their style of music-- musica Norteña-
outsells all other types of Latin music in the U.S.
♪ Muchos pollos que a penas nacieron ♪
SMITS: And for many of the 12 million Mexican nationals
who have immigrated to this country since the 1980s,
many of them undocumented,
Los Tigres del Norte have become their champions.
SMITS: The Tigres, four brothers and a cousin
from a ranching family in northern Mexico,
immigrated to California themselves in 1968.
Today they are U.S. citizens,
but spent many years living illegally
and much of their music is born of that experience.
♪ Porque somos los mojados
♪ Siempre nos busca la ley
♪ Porque estamos ilegales
♪ Y no hablamos el ingles
♪ El Gringo terco a sacarnos ♪
♪ Y nosotros a volver
♪ Como un aguila en vuelo
♪ Como la fiera en celo
♪ Desafiando fronteras
♪ Defendiendo el honor
♪ He pasado la vida
♪ Explorando otras tierras
♪ Para darle a mis hijos
♪ Un mañana mejor...
SMITS: The face of America has changed dramatically
since recording artists with Mexican names were compelled
to hide their identities 50 years ago.
Today, Mexican-American music has a vital place
on the American musical landscape.
And someday the children of these Tigres fans will create
their own musical fusions...
♪ De paisano a paisano
...as the vibrant dance between cultures
in America continues.