ARIAS - Born on September 8, 1889 in Abasolo, Guanajuato,
Mexico. In 1910 he immigrated to the United States and to
Riverside, California. He learned to play the guitar at an
early age. In order to help his family he would sell products
house to house.
One of the products was an elixir used as a vitamin supplement. While making a house to house solicitation he visited the home of Bonifacia Diaz de Corral and her family. Bonifacia Corral was a widow with seven children. Jose became smitten with one of the daughters, Dolores.
As was proper, Jose courted Dolores and in order to spend more time with the family he convinced Bonifacia that Jose would teach her sons how to play the guitar and mandolin. Jose and Dolores soon married. With his enthusiasm and charisma Jose was hired to play at the Mission Inn. Jose and his brothers-in-law Antonio, Jesus, Alberto and Hilario Corral played at the Mission Inn on a weekly basis. Bonifacia Corral felt that there was a better opportunity for her children to move to Los Angeles and Jose and Dolores followed.
Jose Arias arrived in Los Angeles and began to promote the group which is now the "Arias Troubadours". He would eventually be hired to play as the orchestra playing for "Mood music" during the filming for many silent film stars such as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino and playing at the world famous Coconut Grove(Ambassador Hotel).
The Arias Troubadours were hired to represent California in the Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1926 which was the celebration of the 150th year of independence for the United States of America. He played at the World's Fair at San Diego and San Francisco and his orchestra was the first Mexican group to be heard on the radio and the first to make a worlwide broadcast from Los Angeles in 1931 to publicize the1932 Olympics.
Jose and Dolores Arias would raise a family of six children. Music was always an important part of the families upbringing and Jose insisted on his children to be instructed properly in the skills of reading and playing music. The family was always involved with music and with the fact that Jose would always have friends visit his home for social gatherings.
It was frequent that visitors included the Governors of California, the Mayors of Los Angeles, starting with Fletcher Bowron and celebrities such as Gilbert Roland, Victor Jory and Victor Mature. Jose Arias eventually moved to San Jacinto, Ca. in 1956. It was inevitable since he had traveled there as the orchestra for the "Ramona Pageant" since 1924.
Jose was quick with a smile and a story and because of his interesting life the stories were a reflection of the history of life in early Los Angeles. Jose Arias died at the age of 83 in 1972 and is survived by his six children, eleven grandchildren and sixteen great-grand-children.