Trailer Premiere at LACMA


Come get a preview of what’s to come! Our series trailer will be premiering at LACMA on January 27th!

In celebration of the PST: LA/LA exhibition A Universal History of Infamy, LACMA presents a special Art & Music concert with Chicano singer Chris Montez and DJ & documentarian Melissa “Lil Smiley” Dueñas. Dueñas will spin songs from the 1970s compilation East Side Story, followed by a short preview of her documentary where she explores the origins and impact of this iconic record collection. A panel discussion follows with Dueñas, Montez, Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara (Ruben And The Jets, cofounded and produced by Frank Zappa) moderated by visual artist Vincent Ramos, focusing on the Los Angeles Chicano music scene of the 1970s and ’80s. The second set will feature Montez and his band. Inspired by Richie Valens, Montez grew up singing Mexican rancheras and went on to record such Top 10 hits as “Let’s Dance” and “Call Me.”

San Diego City Beat

“I made my first mixtapes waiting for certain songs to come on the radio and recording them on a tape recorder,” says Dueñas, referring to the long-running Sunday Night Oldies radio show hosted by Xavier the X-Man. “My dad loved oldies, my brother loved oldies too. Definitely got my foundation there.”

Link to article to San Diego CityBeat article

Wax Poetics

Wax Poetic’s write-up about our project and campaign:

“Is this your tio?”

“Is this your Moms and pops?”

With these questions, Chicana DJ and East Side Story Project founder Melissa Dueñas started her research and hunt for the faces and backdrops from the legendary East Side Story LP compilations of classic and forgotten doo-wop and soul music.”

Iconic lowrider oldies compilation East Side Story to be explored as a video series