Lydia Mendoza of Houston became the first Texan to receive the National Endowment for the Art’s prestigious National Heritage Award (1982). Her music career spanned some 60 years, and she developed “Musician Nortena” a style of music that combines the German folk accordion style with the traditional Mexican 12-stringed guitar (bajo sexto). She performed in a variety of forums, from international ethnic music festivals to Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Mendoza began performing at age nine. Her first solo recordings were on the Bluebird label, but she also recorded for Aztec, Ideal, and Falcon in the U.S. and Columbia records in Mexico City. One of her most well known songs is “Mal Hombre.”