The struggles of Americans often carry a soundtrack of activism, and for the Mexican-American farm workers of the 1960s and 70s, it was the sound of Chicano and Tejano music.
The upbeat melodies with heavy horns that combined Latin, blues and jazz, served as the political battle cry for Latino migrant works.
The one leading that cry musically was Little Joe of famed Tejano group Little Joe y La Familia.
As the nation's population grew in the early part of the 20th century, so did the need for agriculture workers, and in Texas, cotton was king. Before the 1960s, workers picked the crop by hand—Little Joe’s first introduction to hard work.
"As far back as we can remember I was doing field work," Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez, or “Little Joe,” said.
Across the southwest, poor wages and work conditions yielded a 1950s labor movement. Arizona native Cesar Chavez led the cause.
Chavez organized workers in protest while Little Joe wrote songs of inspiration. The two became friends---together sharing a voice for those without.
"I started playing fundraising concerts for the farm workers," Little Joe said. "I know exactly what it's like to walk around town and be invisible because you're a pescador."
California was the epicenter for the labor strikes of the 1960s and the '70s. In the background of protest, the Texas sound of Tejano music struck a passionate chord for millions of workers.
Today, the 72-year-old former pescador, or cotton picker, turned activist-musician wants children of migrant workers to carry their struggle forward--and he knows how.
"I think the answer to that is education," Little Joe said.
Click here for more on Little Joe's impression on Tejano music.