It's ironic that Ted Kennedy has Fox News to credit for his latest career move.
"They thought I was pandering to the Hispanic community. They thought I couldn't sing," comments Senator Kennedy.
Fox News broadcast and re-broadcast an audio clip of Senator Kennedy singing one of his favorite songs, "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes (Don't Give Up On Me)," on the wildly popular Piolín in the Morning radio show in Los Angeles.
In two days time Senator Kennedy's website received 3.2 million hits, his email servers crashed and letters poured into his offices by the thousands. Their voices were loud, all demanding more of that beautiful Kennedy voice. Kennedy met with his closest advisors behind closed doors. The choice was clear - an album must be made.
Senator Kennedy takes a sip on his third cup of Irish coffee to tell Original Unoriginal about the motivation behind the album in his new Cabo San Lucas home. "I have very fond memories of vacationing in Mexico as a child. The Mexican servants of the Kennedy Cancun compound were a hard working people. They instinctively knew not to make eye contact with us and most importantly, how to keep their mouth shut when the authorities came. This album is my tribute to them."
Senator Kennedy silences the critics with his freshman effort Immigratin' La Vida Loca. The album is a collection of some his favorite songs, but also highlights Senator Kennedy's song writing.
"I didn't want to do a whole album with the standard fare of 'La Bamba' and 'She Bangs.' My favorite Mexican genre is Ranchera, but I know to reach my target demographic I had to make it more contemporary. I took my some of my personal poetry, hired a translator and brought in some of the hardest drinking mariachis to record it."
Senator Kennedy quickly dispels any rumors that the recording sessions were fueled drugs and alcohol. "You learn from your mistakes. We were in Mexico, you know? When in Rome…ugh, alcohol was only used in moderation."
In truth, the sessions were more shocking and disturbing than the Stones infamous Exile on Main Street recording sessions. There were extreme creative differences between the mariachis and Senator Kennedy, plus one murder. Senator Kennedy shakes his head and laughs. "When people heard there was a murder, they asked if I had been drinking. I was, but so was everybody else!"
The above incident took place deep into the night of a 32 hour recording session. The trumpet player, Jose Ramirez, and guitar player Jorge Vida Lobos were arguing over the arrangement on Selena's "Donde Quiera Que Estes." In the heat of the moment, Mr. Vida Lobos through an empty bottle of Tequila Quita Penas at Mr. Ramirez's face. Mr. Ramirez quickly retaliated, jumping over the passed-out guitarrón player and jammed his trumpet's mouthpiece into Mr. Vida Lobos' jugular vein.
"The album is dedicated to Jorge. He was a sweet and honest Catholic man, an incredible guitar player, and second-to-none with a weed-eater," says Senator Kennedy.
Senator Kennedy could have given up after the murder, but he refused - it's "not the Kennedy way." They paid off the local authorities, got Mr. Ramirez out of jail and finished the album within a week.
Senator Kennedy comments on the reaction to the album. "I got calls from the highest echelons of the entertainment industry. Clive Davis wanted to sign me, Whitney Houston wanted to do a duet, American Idol wants me to be a judge next season and Sir Elton said my voice made him want to leave his back-door companion." But perhaps the most shocking call came from Fox News Personality Bill O'Reilly. "Bill loved the album. Bill's a Republican and we disagree on nearly every issue except our love for music. He wanted to talk, so we put aside our differences and had lunch," says Senator Kennedy. "We're doing an album together. We're going to Ireland, back to our roots. Lanois and Eno are producing. This is exciting."
Senator Kennedy takes some time to reflect on the Kennedy legacy. "Our family has accomplished many a great thing for our beloved country. I think this album is powerful statement that immigrants can work together in this country and accomplish beautiful things. I know Jack is up there… and smiling."