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Les Blank on the Mexico-Texas Border

Every Houstonian worth their salt is a fan of Lighnin’ Hopkins, the Texas blues musician who made his career in Houston’s Third Ward in the late 40’s. Just recently, I found an amazing YouTube snippet of a 1968 documentary on Mr. Hopkins, by a film guy from Florida named Les Blank, called “The Blues According to Lightnin’ Hopkins.”

Les Blank is a really interesting character, who has filmed dozens of documentaries on music cultures around the world since 1960. One of these is Chulas Fronteras, which heralds the rich culture on the Mexico-Texas border in 1979, way before FOX News and reality shows such as Border Wars existed.

You can watch the entirety of these videos on UC Berkeley’s site, or talk to Les Blank himself.


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