Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Los Lobos has enjoyed a remarkable career for more than forty years, even retaining the same core lineup from its start as an East Los Angeles wedding band in 1973. Los Lobos joins hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a special interview and performance in front of a live audience.

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Maurice White, founder of the great R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire, passed away on February 4 at the age of 74. White started in Chicago as a jazz drummer, playing on Chess Records sessions by Willie Dixon and Etta James before being recruited into Ramsey Lewis’s band. The crossover success of that gig allowed him to finance Earth, Wind & Fire, an extravagant showpiece band that could contain more than a dozen members – a flashy update of the big bands of the swing era. Greg goes so far as to call White the Duke Ellington of R&B. Blending Latin music, R&B, jazz, and African music, Earth, Wind & Fire scored a string of hits in the 1970s. For Greg, the epitome of the band was the 1975 song Shining Star which offered a uplifting message during a period of racial strife.

Los Lobos

Recently, Jim and Greg were joined by an audience of Sound Opinions and Los Lobos fans for a special recording at City Winery Chicago. Louie Perez, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin showed everyone what it means to have 4 decades of chops and unity under their belts. Since forming in high school in East L.A., Los Lobos has always pushed the boundaries of whatever genre they explored: rock, punk, Mexican folk, R&B, jazz, psychedelia. Most of that is a far cry from their huge 1987 hit La Bamba. But, perhaps that cover got fans like Elmo in the door. Now the group has a new album called Gates of Gold, its first release in 5 years.

Jim

For Jim and Greg, it’s February in Chicago, and they couldn’t think of a place they’d rather get away to than a warm desert island. This week it’s Jim’s turn, and he wants to take us back to the burgeoning New York punk scene in the 1970s. Specifically, he wants to focus on Ork Records, a small independent label that served many underground punk bands. One such group that’s a bit of a deep cut is the Susan Springfield-led band, The Erasers. Jim really digs this quartet, even though they only released one single and were never heard from again! However, the song I Won’t Give Up is the perfect example of a great punk track that was ahead of its time.

Dear Listeners,

For more than 15 years, Sound Opinions was a production of WBEZ, Chicago's public radio station. Now that the show is independent, we're inviting you to join the band and lend a hand! We need your support more than ever because now we have to do all the behind-the-scenes work that WBEZ handled before (like buying insurance and paying for podcast hosting, ugh). Plus, we have some exciting ideas we'd like to try now that there's no one to tell us no!