“There Was Always Music In The House”: Memories Of Luis M. Moreno, A Father And Prolific Songwriter
When Luis M. Moreno was around six years old, he encountered a fayuquero or traveling vendor who had a little guitar up for sale. The family story goes that Luis wanted the guitar and the vendor, seeing that Luis was just a small child, told him the guitar was his if he proved he could play it. After fiddling with the strings for a while, Luis played a little tune, and the vendor gave it to him.
This moment marked the beginning of a lifetime of music for Luis.
He drew inspiration from all the things he lived. Born in 1899, he became an orphan at the age of 8 and grew up seeing other musicians perform in the cantinas or taverns of his native Mexico. Then, the family tales say he was conscripted to fight in the Mexican Revolution, and after being shot in battle, he immigrated to the United States, settling down in California in the first half of the 20th Century.
Photo: A young Luis M. Moreno
That is where he met his wife and creative partner, Carmen Moreno. Together they were known as Los Moreno or El Dueto de los Moreno, famous for the Mexican folk music they performed on the radio and in venues throughout the Los Angeles area.
More than a century after their parents’ birth, his daughters, Rosemary Selzer and Carmencristina Moreno, now 67 and 81, came to StoryCorps to share their memories of growing up surrounded by music, and the bittersweet legacy that their father left behind.
Photo: Carmencristina Moreno and Rosemary Selzer in March 2021
Top Photo: Carmen Moreno and Luis M. Moreno performed under the name of Los Moreno or El Dueto de los Moreno
Originally aired March 26, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
‘Just the Two of Us’: A Grandfather’s Musical Legacy
William Salter, 84, helped write one of America’s most iconic love songs, ‘Just the Two of Us’ — made famous by Grover Washington Jr. in 1981. But before he became a renowned musician, William was “just another kid on the block,” trying to find himself. He grew up in New York City, the child of a single working mother, and learned that music would be his greatest companion.
Decades later, after building a successful music career, William became a proud grandfather. He and his eldest granddaughter Jada spent most of their summers together, bonding over music and playtime.
Photo: (R) William Salter, his granddaughter Jada and her father (L) Jamal Salter. Courtesy of Jada Salter.
In January of 2021, using StoryCorps Connect, Jada, 25, asked her grandfather how he first found his sound.
Top Photo: Young Jada Salter and her grandfather William in 2002. Courtesy of Jamal Salter.
Originally aired February 12, 2021 on NPR’s Morning Edition.