We recently cruised in a beautiful 1961 Chevrolet Impala with lowrider enthusiast Tino Carbajal in Venice Beach, California. Tino, a resident of the Los Angeles area since 1975, grew up in Venice and has always had a passion for the culture and music. He currently owns four lowriders he constructed on his own, but his drop-top blue Impala is his favorite:
During our ride, we noticed that Tino had a pretty bumpin’ library of lowrider oldies. You can’t imagine how many heads turned when passersby thought we were from another era.
“I bought my first Impala in 1980 when I was in high school. We would spend most of our time working on our cars and listening to oldies,” Tino recalled.
Lowriders and oldies music go hand-in-hand. Thankfully, the culture has helped keep these songs and various genres alive:
What Chicanos refer to as lowrider oldies is a loose category that describes a certain sound and tempo characteristic of songs found across half a dozen decades and genres, but most notably doo-wop and harmony soul.
We wanted to share a few of these tricked-out tunes with you from our ride with Tino. So, sit back, relax, roll down the windows of your special ride, and let that custom sound system go to work.
Low Rider - War
Suavecito - Malo
Sabor A Mi - El Chicano
Sleepwalk - Santo & Johnny
We Belong Together - Ritchie Valens
Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I Got) - Four Tops
I’m Your Puppet - James & Bobby Purify
Cruisin’ - Smokey Robinson
Look Over Your Shoulder - The Escorts
Yes I’m Ready - Barbara Mason