, the traditional ballads that celebrate many of the outlaws-turned-folk heroes of Mexico's past, go back to the 19th Century. The music became a lyric chronicle of working class life, a vehicle for social and political protest. Today, the genre has been transformed yet again, this time into a Mexican version of gangster rap that's thrilling fans and making big money for record companies north and south of the border. Popular topics range from cocaine smuggling to the Rodney King riots and the terrorist attacks of September 11. Grammy-winner, musician and writer Elijah Wald is the author of Narcocorridos: the Music of Drugs, Guns and Guerrillas
. Wald shares snippets and snapshots of this music and mythology of drug culture.
Newsmaker: High Court Ruling Hurts Union Goals of Immigrants
In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled against illegal immigrants and in favor of employers who violate labor law. The judgment that denied Jos- Castro back pay for work lost after being fired for handing out union cards violated national labor law. But the court ruled against Castro because he was not a legal immigrant. Miguel Contreras, of the LA AFL-CIO, says the ruling will severely weaken labor's right to organize.
- Reporter's Notebook: Billy Wilder, Writer and Director of Classical Films, Dies
Billy Wilder wrote and directed 25 films in many different genres, from Sunset Boulevard to Some Like It Hot. The winner of three Oscars in a single night once said he probably would have traded them all for the chance to make one more picture. Wilder died today at the age of 95. Kirk Honeycutt, film critic for The Hollywood Reporter, remembers a legend from the golden age of Hollywood.
Los Angeles Federation of Labor
Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns and Guerrillas
The Hollywood Reporter