San Antonio's West Side Sound
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It is a rare privilege indeed when a scholar has the opportunity to bring to the public’s attention a musical genre that has been largely unstudied in the past. The understanding of our nation’s musical heritage is enhanced whenever these less-well-known genres are recognized and examined, especially those that have a rich history steeped in multi-ethnic traditions. San Antonio’s West Side Sound is just such a genre, having drawn from a broad array of regional influences to become a truly distinct musical style. Outside of South-Central Texas, however, the West Side Sound is a largely unknown phenomenon. Even within San Antonio itself, there are many who would have difficulty defining the West Side Sound. The goal of this article is to explain what the West Side Sound is and to examine its origins and development as a unique component of Texas music.