Friday, July 13, 2001
Return to our roots
Tejano Music Hall of Fame inducts Selena, acts from '40s and '50s
Alice-based Tejano Roots stages its Hall of Fame inductions Saturday night at
the VFW Hall in Alice. Now in its second year, the organization has reached its
goal of bringing a Tejano Music museum and hall of fame ceremony to deep South
It was an ambitious undertaking that included locating and raising
a building, furnishing it, and collecting artifacts and memorabilia to display.
The organization successfully lobbied the Legislature to recognize the city of
Alice as the birthplace of Tejano music and designate the museum as the official
State of Texas Tejano Music Hall of Fame.
"For too long conjunto and Tejano Music has been looked at primarily
from the entertainment angle," said Manuel Ayala, an avid collector and member
of the Tejano Roots Selection Committee. "Our music is also key to our culture."
Ayala says more people are becoming interested in learning about
Tejano music's cultural aspects.
"There is also more interest in artifacts and old recordings and
in honoring the artists of the past," Ayala said. "The Alice museum validates
the importance of the music in our lives. It gives artists of the past a home
for showcasing their artifacts and a place where important contributions and traditions
can be collected and preserved."
Last year's ceremony inducted a roster of heavyweights - names who
are on everybody's hall of fame list: Sunny Ozuna; Carlos Guzman; Tony De La Rosa;
Laura Canales; Beto Villa; Narciso Martinez; Juan and Armando Hinojosa of Los
Fabulosos Cuatro; Armando Lichtenberger Jr.; Amadeo Flores; Juan Sifuentes; Ruben
Naranjo; and Armando Marroquin and Paco Betancourt.
This year's induction list is more of a mixed bag, with well-known
names alongside inductees who may be better known on a regional basis. Selena
Quintanilla Perez, perhaps the biggest name in contemporary Tejano Music, heads
Other big names include Isidro Lopez, whose orchestra reigned supreme
during the '50s and '60s; Little Joe and brothers Rocky and Johnny, who for many,
personify the Tejano sound and who have worked the active circuit since the '50s;
composer Johnny Herrera, whose hand has created some of the most enduring songs
in Tejano music history; Carmen y Laura, a popular duet from the 1940s; and Eloy
and Paulino Bernal of Conjunto Bernal, and vocalists Manuel Solis, ChaCha Jimenez
and Ruben Perez, together creating what most consider the most innovative conjunto
of all time.
Other inductees include radio personalities Leopoldo Luna and Armando
Pena; record producer and promoter Arnaldo Ramirez, Sr.; Rene Ornelas and Rene
Herrera of Rene and Rene; Rodolfo y Lalo; and accordionist Ruben Vela.
To date, and counting those who will be inducted tomorrow, 36 individuals
have been honored. But there are still many whose time has come for recognition.
Three important figures immediately come to mind. They are folk musician and Alice
native Eligio Escobar, and Falfurrias native Wally Almendarez, whose biography
includes stints with the Beto Villa Orchestra, Conjunto Bernal, and at the head
of his own conjunto. The third is not a Tejano, but his contributions permeate
Tejano music to its very core. It's Jose Alfredo Jimenez.
Little Joe, Johnny and Rocky Hernandez and Carlos Guzman head a diverse
entertainment lineup. Isidro Lopez and his group will perform, as will ChaCha
Jimenez and his conjunto, who will perform a tribute to Conjunto Bernal. Other
artists in the lineup include Rodolfo y Lalo; Rene-Rene; Rita and Eddie Bernal;
Sarah Farias; and Mariachi Cobre. Rudy Trevino of the Tejano Gold Countdown syndicated
radio show and Marci Mosqueda of KIII's "The Domingo Show" will co-host.
General admission tickets go for $25. Corporate tables, which include
dinner and meet and greet opportunities with performers and inductees, are still
available for $500 per table, or $62.50 per seat. For ticket and other information,
call Tejano Roots at (361) 661-1111 or the Corpus Christi ticket agent at 946-6190.
Rene Cabrera can be reached at 886-3741 or by e-mail at
| Arts & Entertainment
| Health & Fitness
| Today | The
© 2000 Corpus Christi
Caller Times, a Scripps Howard newspaper.
All rights reserved.