San Antonio’s Women in Music, 1920s to 1940s

The Top Shelf

During this Women’s History Month, we show photographs of some of the local women who contributed to the field of music during the period after World War I through the 1940s.  These women shared their musical talents through various activities, from classical music performances to radio broadcasting.  Some are remembered only by the local community.  Others achieved international fame and their recordings are still commercially available.

These photographs, from our San Antonio Light Photograph Collection (MS 359), were all taken by the newspaper’s staff photographers.

Lydia Mendoza, “The Lark of the Border,” poses with her guitar at the time she was appearing at the Nacional Theater in San Antonio, January 1948.  (MS 359:  L-3514-A).   Mendoza (1916-2007), the first star of recorded Tejano and Norteno music, began singing as a child with her family on the plazas of San Antonio.   She achieved national prominence and was awarded the National Medal of Arts and numerous other awards. Lydia Mendoza, “The Lark of the Border,” poses with her guitar at the time she was appearing at the Nacional Theater in San Antonio, January 1948. (MS 359: L-3514-A). Mendoza (1916-2007), the first star of recorded Tejano and Norteno music, began singing publicly in San Antonio in the late 1920s. By 1934, she had achieved national attention through her recordings and radio performances.  She received…

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