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Menudo

My earliest recollections of the broadcast media (radio and television) go back the early 1980's when Menudo (pop group) was very popular. I was around 5 or 6 when "Menuditis" hit me. "Menuditis" was as contagious as any disease. All the little girls in my building had it. I remember listening to them on the radio and watching them on television. I also remember going to the flea market with my parents every weekend to visit the Menudo stand. Every week I would add something new to my collection of Menudo. I had all their records and I had my mom video tape their performances. If it said Menudo I had it. I never got to go see them perform though. My dad always had to work and my mother did not drive.

Menudo changed over the years. The original members slowly left the group and they were replaced. I like the first and second generation of the Menudo's. They are the ones that I remember the most. I am still a big fan of Ricky Martin. He is from the second generation of the Menudo's and the most popular.

Menuditis lasted a long time until Lorenzo Antonio and Pedrito Fernandez came along. They were very popular among my age group (7-8 years old) back then. That stage in my life did not last as long as the Menuditis did though. I remember seeing and hearing Lorenzo Antonio and Pedrito Fernandez. The difference in this stage of my "groupiness" was that Lorenzo Antonio and Pedro Fernandez were closer to my age. The guys from Menudo were teenagers when I was a little girl. I actually got to see them (Pedro and Lorenzo Antonio). I did not have anything of theirs except for an album or two. The media did not promote these two as much as they did with Menudo. Menudo was everywhere, on television, on the radio, and in magazines. My mom says that my dad had me sing on the bus one day. I do not remember that. Even though the thought embarrasses me now, I don't doubt that I did it. La de la Muchila Azul (this was Pedro's Fernandez's first big hit) was a very popular song back then. Sometime in High School I got away from the Spanish music and into English music. I happen to think that it was at the wrong time because I got into the New Kids on the Block (NKOTB). I relived the Menudo phase all over again. The difference was that this time I was older. NKOTB was everywhere. The media really promoted them. I had everything at NKOTB came out with. I had the dolls, the posters, videos, etc. I hung around with a group of girls that loved them as much as I did. We all spent our money buying NKOTB junk. I say junk because I threw it all out a while ago. I realize now that all the money I spent went down the drain. I was into NKOTB for a couple of years. This was when they where real popular. After awhile I was ashamed to say that I was a NKOTB fan. I kept it to myself. With Menudo I was never ashamed to say that I was a fan. To this day I am still a Menudo fan. I am no longer a NKOTB fan.

Around my fifteenth birthday I began getting into Spanish music again. I got into the "Onda Grupera". La Onda Grupera is a term used to identify a genre of music. This term identifies the Tejano music, banda, and rancheras. What influenced what groups I liked? Well radio and television did. I would go see only the bands that I would like. Chicago is a great place to be if you are into this music. There are very good bands and groups here every weekend. I would call the radio stations and win tickets to go see these bands. These dances are very expensive and I would get in for free most of the time. I got bored of the Onda Grupera groups about two years ago. Why because a lot of imitation bands were coming out. I like and enjoy the true authentic groups. Groups were coming out left and right and they were making it only because they were in this genre of music. It did not matter if the music or the lyrics were good or not. They were accepted only because they were a part of the Onda Grupera.

I have a lot of respect for Latino singers. I have always loved many Pop Latin singers (another phase). I have followed their careers and have remained a faithful fan. Singers like Cristian, Luis Miguel, Ricky Martin (ex-menudo), and Pedro Fernandez are among those that I have seen evolve as artists over the years. The broadcast media helps me keep up with them. They are on television and radio a lot. At times they do disappear from the screens, but they are the type of artists that are on the air waves all of the time. Their music will be on the airwaves for a long time. Many of them have become legends in a way. Everyone knows who Luis Miguel and Enrique Iglesias are. Even Anglo speaking people know who they are.

The Menudo phase hit me again last year. Six of the original members reunited and called themselves the Reencuentro (reunion). Seeing them perform on television was like taking a trip to my past. I found that I still remember all their lyrics and all of their dance steps. They came out with a special CD for all the fans and have toured the world again. Unfortunately, I did not get to see them because I was in Mexico when they came to Chicago. I was going to cancel my trip believe it or not. I am hoping to see them sometime this year before they split up again in December.

All of these events are important because they all represent different phases in my life. The Menudo phase represents my childhood. The NKOTB phase represents my adolescence. And the Pop music phase represents the past few years of my life. The broadcast media has helped shaped my taste in music and has been through those phases with me.

What has evolved out of all this? Well, my sister says that I am a groupie because I get to meet all my favorite artists. I do not consider myself to be a groupie because I do not follow them around. I have luck and happen to be at the right places at the right time. My picture album with the stars is getting bigger. I also make it a point to go see the artists I love. I never got to see Menudo and I have always wished that I had.

I also do not let myself be influenced by the media as much as I used to. La Onda Grupera is still around and is very popular. I am just glad that I appreciate other kinds of music now. I do not waste my money buying stuff with people's names on it. I do buy the CD's however. They will not end up in the trash like the NKOTB junk.

All of these stages in my life influenced my decision when choosing a major. I decided that I wanted to be a part of the entertainment industry. I cannot sing or act but I can be a part of it in many different ways. I want to work for a television or radio station in the Spanish market. I would also like to work with record companies and artists directly.

February 1999

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