Santa Fe New Mexican
The son of blue-collar Mexican immigrants, Guerrero was a self-styled folk musician who made up for lack of formal training with his witty knack for capturing the everyday joys, sorrows and absurdities of Mexican-American life, largely ignored by mainstream pop music. His songs were so emblematic of the bicultural experience during World War II that they were prominently featured in 1977's "Zoot Suit," the ground-breaking stage and film musical that dramatized, to Guerrero's swing-time beat, the persecution and survival spirit of the so-called pachucos
"The play would not have been possible without his music," said writer and director Luis Valdez, who was Guerrero's nephew. "So many focus on the negative side, but what Lalo captured was the joy of the pachuco experience, the playful vacilon, which no one else had done. That was something that was always unfailing with his work -- his great sense of humor and love for life."