CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - A treasured collection of History was uncovered on a set of three old audio recordings. The typical vinyl recordings did not contain music but instead a documentary of a historical event that happened in 1947.
"I was six months old when uncles Felix's remains were brought back to the states for reburial, " said, niece of Three Rivers native Felix Longoria, Bertie Longoria Almendarez.
Almendarez had always kept meticulous records of her late uncle's history and knew it well.
"At the time the only funeral home in three rivers did not have the practice of allowing Mexican Americans of having wakes in the mortuary," Almendarez said.
"This is the actual funeral home," Almendarez said her aunt was devastated. "She wanted a proper wake and burial and was told that it could not happen because the whites wouldn't like it."
A lot of time passed between the time arrangements were made for the transport of the body and burial to a massive fundraiser occurring.
"I love this, all of these pages are copies of the names of people who donated to help send the family to Washington. and if you notice anywhere from a dollar, two dollars, fifty cents, a quarter, but rudy thinking about it, we're talking 1949," Almendarez said.
The total raised was a little over 1500 dollars, fast forward to today and there are three vinyl records.
"I've never seen red vinyl they're dirty, and they need to be restored," Almendarez said her late father had kept the vinyl records, and she was told they were the recordings of Felix Longoria's actual funeral.
"It's a radio program there is some, there's a speaker, I couldn't tell you who it was. There are no markings on the album to say where they were recorded. They're only number one through six," Almendarez said.
3News took the records and used available technology to clean the recordings are Kiii clear the sound enough to the point of recognizing the voice of the narrator.
"Estan eschuchando la estacion kwbu y el programa en Espanol."
Additional research proved the recordings were made at a Corpus Christi radio station KWBU- which no longer exist.
"This is amazing."
Carlos Lopez is the owner of Magic 104.9 immediately recognized the distinct baritone voice as that of his fathers, the late Humberto Lozano Lopez.
"My father told me that doctor hector, the founder of the American gi forum, was looking for a voice that would transmit the message," Lopez said.
Lopez said Dr. Garcia held auditions and his father was selected.
"The only problem was that he was underage was a little kid. He was a young guy. He was still in high school. They had to ask my grandmother permission to let my father record," Lopez said.
Until this day, Lopez had only heard of the 30-minute radio documentary through his father who was 17.
"As you can hear he had a voice of a man and he knew how to communicate and speak correctly in Spanish, this was important to Doctor Hector, and it was important to my father. It's important for people to remember where we came from, how we have evolved. As far as we are concerned Mexican Americans, our civil rights how it all evolved. This is just one piece, just one little piece that stimulated a lot of other action that's gotten us to where we are today," Lopez said.
The vinyl records are a piece of history with a timeless message.
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