At radio base KOXR, the acceptable exhausted of ranchera music thumps out over the airwaves, and the requests appear in. But, not all the calls are for tunes. Some accepted favorites:
Where do I get a demography form?
Where can I acquisition a lawyer?
How do I ample out my tax forms?
“They alarm all the time,” said Miguel Marquez, the Oxnard station’s accepted manager, who is blimp abaft a little lath amidst by radio promos. “They anticipate of us as a friend.”
That faculty of accord far from home has angry Spanish-language radio in Ventura County from a tiny alcove market–as afresh as a decade ago there were aloof two stations, both AM, in the county–into a ascendant player. One-third of the county’s 15 radio stations are Spanish-language, and the best contempo Arbitron ratings appearance “Radio Lazer,” KXLM-FM (102.9), consistently allusive country athletic KHAY-FM (100.7) and hip-hop KCAQ-FM (104.7) for the top spot.
In part, it’s a assurance of the cardinal of Spanish speakers here. As afresh as 10 years ago, Latinos fabricated up a division of the county’s population. Now, an estimated one in three association is Latino. The best contempo data, from the 1990 census, appearance about 19% of association mainly speaking Spanish at home, a cardinal that critics advance is awfully underestimated.
But, added than a absorption of numbers, the backbone of Spanish-language radio exemplifies the almighty aing accord amid Spanish speakers and their radio stations.
For first-generation immigrants, the bounded anchorperson is added than aloof an anchorperson in a box–he’s a articulation both to the home country and to his new land. Besides alms account and cornball music, radio educates its admirers about aggregate American, from the new demography forms to a freeway blow attached up traffic.
Those who accomplish Spanish-language stations say they feel this albatross acutely. The three FM and two AM stations–four in Oxnard and one in Ventura–regularly air discussions with burghal officials, updates on clearing and conversations with Mexican delegate admiral discussing politics.
Two of the stations–“La Mexicana,” KOXR-AM (910), and “La M,” KMLA-FM (103.7)–offer radio-marketplace shows: a affectionate of association bulletin lath in which admirers alarm in with the audio adaptation of classified ads, alignment from gluttonous a addressee to award a babyish babysitter or a acceptable plumber.
“It’s the Internet of the Latino community,” said Santos Gomez, an advocate with the California Rural Legal Assistance appointment in Oxnard.
Each Spanish-language base serves a specific audience, from lovers of acceptable favorites to admirers of bedrock en espanol. KOXR tends to be added traditional, arena mariachi and ranchera music from decades ago. KMLA plays a mix of a music and old standards. KXLM, which plays acoustic-based norteno and dance-hall Banda, is added accepted with a adolescent crowd, while KCZN–FM (96.7), endemic by the aforementioned company, appeals to earlier listeners. Radio Unica,
KUNX-AM (1590)–mostly talk–is amalgamated from Miami, with casual bounded news.
Just how common an access these stations accept is anon accessible in the fields, advantage and factories of Oxnard, area contempo immigrants proliferate.
In the birthmark fields, about every picker has a radio angry to his or her hip. The low tones ambit through the air, and snippets of music attempt as workers airing by.
They accept because they grew up with the music, because the radio is free, and because it keeps their minds occupied. Often, it’s the alone account they get, because all they appetite to do aback they get home is augment the accouchement and abatement into bed.
Alberto Pina, a 17-year U.S. resident, spends so abundant time in the fields his easily are consistently decrepit red. He listens to the radio–either “La M,” or “Radio Lazer”–throughout the day.
“Sometimes there’s no time to watch TV aback you go home, and you aloof appetite to booty a shower,” he said through an interpreter.
Radio is a attitude built-in in the lives of Latino immigrants, one they accompany from Mexico, experts said. Abounding accept actual little apprenticeship and accept a adamantine time with reading. And radios are almost inexpensive.
“The people, they feel like we are family. We came from Mexico,” said Raul Miranda, the morning anchorperson at KMLA in Oxnard. As with English-language radio, some bodies alarm alone to accord a “shout out,” or dedication, to a adherent or admirer or to try to win the circadian banknote jackpot.
But on his morning show, with accessory “Coyote” Carlos Valenzuela–“the funny one”–Miranda additionally discusses issues, such as academy and ancestors relationships. On one show, he talked with a mother who has absitively to accelerate her son aback to academy in Mexico, because of antidotal problems.
As a result, deejays become psychologists and attorneys as abundant as entertainers. “Here is what I would do . . . ” they acquaint their listeners. They are not experts, but abounding of them are immigrants, too.
Many first-generation immigrants accept one base and stick to it.
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