In 1991, Franco bought a small club in a Lynwood shopping center and renamed it El Farallon, Spanish for “the cliff by the sea.” It became one of the southeast county’s first Mexican nightclubs, serving food, alcohol and music. Hilda Portillo, a friend and fellow bar owner, said she urged Franco to hire groups from Sinaloa, a Mexican state known both for drug trafficking and for its deep musical tradition. Many Lynwood-area residents were from Sinaloa. Franco welcomed amateur singers and those who’d privately recorded albums but were ignored by Mexican radio stations or record labels. They often sang of tragedias, the killings and family feuds common in the ranchos back home. One of them was a thin, steely-eyed Sinaloan ranchero named Chalino Sanchez.
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