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“Las Tesoros de San Antonio” A WestSide Story”

 Las Tesoros de San Antonio”

 “A Westside Story”

Jorge Sandoval is a local actor, filmaker, photographer and technican. He returns to filmaking with the exiting documentary “Las Tesoros de San Antonio”/A WestSide Story.”Experience the sights and sounds.

Saturday, 6th Oct, 2-3:00PM  

Central Library Auditorium

800  Soledad                                                                                                                                                                                               

210.207.2500                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 

Sunday, 7th Oct ,2-3:30 PM

Bazan Branch Library

2200 W.Commerce

210.207.9160                                                                                                                                                                                                

Enjoy a Romantic Evening of Music with El Bolero II

Story and photos by Ramón Hernández

El Bolero II is a musical program that promises to seduce its listeners with an array of romantic ballads.

And as Patricia Pérez-Lemppaf, the show’s artistic director says, “However, remember that falling in love and being in love can sometimes end in heartache. So be prepared for this music to capture your soul and the lyrics transcend you and make you reminisce about a past or present love.

“So whether you’re in love, have fallen out of love or you’re in the process of conquering a sweetheart, the bolero will enlighten your heart and soul with visions of passionate love.”

In addition, the program is also educational in that those in attendance will be treated to several different forms of the genre which originated in 18th century Spain as a Spanish/ Africa dance with a very slow rumba style rhythm that evoked erotic feelings or communicated love between dance partners. In the Western World, the slow sensuous love song in Cuba evolved from a Caribbean genre known as trova in the eastern city of Santiago during the late 19th century, spread to Mexico and other Latin American countries in the mid-20th century and finally reached the United States where many boleros were translated into English and released as “What A Difference a Day Makes,” “You Belong to My Heart” and “A Taste of Me” to name a few.

According to Lemppaf, this Alizanza Latinoamericana musical program will present variations such as the bolero ranchero, as immortalized b Pedro Infante, the tango bolero as made famous by Carlos Gardel and Libertad Lamarque; and the contemporary bolero most recently popularized by Luis Miguel and El Tri-O.

Some of the performers include Emma Hernández, one of the best known vocalists during the 1950s and early ‘60s orchestra era when she was the featured vocalist for the Emilio Caceres Orchestra, also Marielos Duarte and Malú Gil, both Mexico City natives, who have sung with numerous trios and mariachis for as long as they can remember. Both chilangas started out performing at family gatherings eventually singing at public functions.

Other vocalists are María Betancourt, Isidro Manjarres, Jaimé Vidal, Broadway Joe, Paul Ford, James Hickey, Homero Zapata plus the mother-son duo of Ruby and Dennis Castell.

Some will perform with music tracks and others will be backed up by a trio of musicians.

Willie Zulaica, a Tejano music pioneer whose resume includes playing sax with Joe Bravo y Los Sunglows, Ruco Villarreal, O.B.G. Band de Rocky Hernández and is presently with Canela, is the show’s musical director.

Zapata of Los Internacional Hermanos Zapata not only sings, but also plays accordion and drums. As a drummer, he performed and recorded with Toby Torres and the internationally famous Flaco Jiménez from the late 1960s to 1976.

José Ramiro Pérez, Francesca Anderson and Richard Alvarado will also delight the audience with their ultra-smooth dance steps as they displayed how to dance to this beautiful music.

Alvarado’s credits are heading a seven year program with the San Antonio Library where he teaches salsa and merengue and where his busiest time of the year is during Hispanic Heritage Month.

They may not be household names, but they all sing and dance from the heart; and the fact that they can share their God-given talent is thanks to the Alianza Latinoamericana who recognizes their gift and provides the opportunity and venue for them to showcase their voice and their moves in this tribute to the bolero.

This production could not be possible without the volunteer help of Dalia Guzmán, artistic coordinator; Eduardo Velázquez, set designer; and the support of Street Talk Magazine’s Jaimé Vidal, La Prensa publisher Tino Durán and supporters such as Félix Padrón, Frank Villani, Juan Hernández, Johnny Hernández, Lissa Bengtson, Valerie Arrieta and Vanessa L. Jenkins, also Gabriel Sánchez and Dora Olvera.

The participation of all these people says volumes about this non-profit organization, which, with the exception of the Office of Cultural Affairs, has yet to receive a cent in funding therefore everyone is encouraged to attend and fill the venue to demonstrate why Alianza Latinoamericana is worthy to be considered as a serious contender for funding.

“Su Majestad – El Bolero II” – emceed by Andres Ricardo Morín — takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 4th at the International Folk Culture Center located on the Our Lady of the Lake campus at 411 S.W. 24th Street.

Anyone can save two dollars by purchasing their advance tickets for $5 and they are available at the International Folk Culture Center until July 24. Furthermore, patrons can also enjoy the delicious taste

For reservations or more information call (210) 431-3922, 385-3877 or 378-2970. One can also e-mail the organization at info@alianza-latinoamericana.org.

This is what makes me MAD as

Here is what was published by ThinkProgress.com

96 Year-Old Latino Former Arizona Governor Detained By Border Patrol In 100 Degree Heat

By Ian Millhiser  on Jul 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

This man is Raúl Héctor Castro. He is 96 years old, a former Arizona governor, and a former United States Ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina. He was born in Mexico, and is a United States citizen.

Last month he was stopped by U.S. border patrol agents after residual radiation from a medical procedure he’d recently undergone triggered an alarm at a checkpoint in Tubac, AZ. The 96 year-old heart patient was then forced to exit his vehicle in the 100 degree Arizona heat and wait in a tent in a business suit, even as his companion begged the agents not to subject an elderly man to such treatment.

This is the third time the former governor and ambassador has been detained by border control. The first occurred years ago while he was repairing his own fence and agents stopped him and asked to see his work card — although they eventually desisted after Castro pointed out a sign by his farm entrance that read “Judge Castro.” The second occurred years later in San Diego, although that encounter ended shortly after someone recognized Castro and said “Governor, how are you?

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Now I know we will forever be un-fortunately living with a few Bad politicians that dictate their personal views into the law including those in our Supreme Court

However some of you in law enforcement need to go back to school and get a formal education! I have myself been in meetings where these big fat politicians are trying to come up with rules and regulations, and when someone like me jumps in  with “Are You Crazy” They simply say “Well at least we are not the one’s on the street having to enforce our crazy ideas!

This is Racial Profiling at it’s best.

I’m Mad

Eddie

p.s. I hope my friends Dr.Paul Ruiz & Margie don’t read this as I’m having a hard time keeping my blood pressure levels in check.

 

Güero Polkas reflects back on 48 years

Story and photos by Ramón Hernández

He was born Ricardo “Richard or Rick” Peña Dávila, but is best known as Güero Polkas and the Wolfman Jack of Tejano radio.

His radio experience dates back to 1954 when he was nine years old and used to cue the vinyl records for his father, Manuel Sr., who would follow Willie Nelson’s 3-5 p.m. shift at KBOP in Pleasanton, Texas.

“I would pull my ear close to the record so I could hear and cue the records without earphones. Many years later Willie remembered me as that little kid at KBOP radio since my dad relieved him, then Willie would come back to do the 7 p.m. to sunset shift,” Rick said.

During the time his father, also a songwriter, was on radio, Rick would watch Humberto Lozano López become Capirucha. He would also listen to and watch José “Pepino” Villarreal, Raúl “El Chapulin” Hernández, Willie Ramos, Mario “El Pico de Oro” Gutiérrez, El Gavilan Pollero” García, Ronquillo Chávez, José Pérez Del Rio, Roy “Que Piquito” Valdez and Fidel Cuellar – who later went to Voice of American in New York – work their on-the-air magic.

In 1957, his father and Pepino became partners and signed a contract with Manuel Leal, who owned KUKA. In October 1959, “Teen’s Choice” was born with Manuel Jr. and Rick; and later Pepino’s son, Gilbert Villarreal.

“We kind of spun off ‘Tops and Bops,’ which was hosted by Manuel Leal’s daughter Sylvia and her friend, Teresa Garza, who gave us her massive record collection when we came in,” Rick continued.

A big reason for the Dávila’s popularity is because they played the songs KTSA and KONO would not play, tunes by Sunny and the Sunglows, Doug Sahm and Rudy Tee. Since then the Dávila’s have been the champion for the underdog.

“Our Spanish wasn’t worth a crap, but it was a hit because of the dedications and because we spoke English,” said Manuel Jr. “We also played the slow stuff and the tunes other stations stopped playing once they were six months old. So people saw us as the first oldies station.”

Rick always sang along with records, but after he entered George W. Brackenridge High School, he became a featured singer at school assemblies doing ditties such “What’s Your Name” and other early 1960s soul hits.

What few people don’t know about is the connection between James Brown and KEDA and his friendship with Rick. The result is that Rick would emcee or did an opening comedy act at all the “Godfather of Soul” shows at the Municipal Auditorium or the Joe Freeman Coliseum. In fact, Rick and bandleader/sax man Maceo Parker once sang “Soul Man” with the originator of funk music’s orchestra.

The hazel-eyed teen idol graduated in 1964, joined the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the USS Shangri La, then home ported in Mayport, Florida.

During one of his trips back home, Rick recorded two of his own compositions, “Laughing to Keep from Crying” and “Can’t Keep You off My Mind” with the musical backing of the Royal Jesters for Abe Epstein’s Dynamic label.

At the time, the 66-year-old radio icon was stationed at Naval Air Station Alameda in San Francisco Bay and in 1966; Rick went to KSOL to make a pitch for his single. The place was like Fort Knox however, both the security guard and the secretary were nowhere to be found and he simply walked all the way to the back of the building and startled Sylvester Stone.

He and his siblings, Freddie and Rose, were known as Sly and the Family Stone, so the two radio personalities hit it off.

“Sly let me hear ‘Dance to the Music’ before it ever came out. Then much to my surprise and without listening to the single, he put it on the turntable and said, ‘Here’s my great friend from Texas . . .” and my song was heard from San José, the Golden Gate, Oakland and the entire bay area.

“I did the same thing with ‘The Bob White Flight’ program out of KDIA in Oakland and Abe couldn’t figure out how he sold close to 10,000 copies of that record at a time when they hated Mexicans in other states, more so one that sang rock’n’roll.”

Collectors can find both sides of this Güero-Royal Jesters tune on the “Más De Mis Rolas Favoritas” CD on the Toby CRS label.

Another must-have CD is “Sus 20 Éxitos.” This one contains “The Day I Found You,” which Rick recorded with Little Henry and the Laveers. Now back to our story.

On August 14, 1966, KEDA went on the air as a sunrise-sunset station with the slogan of “La Tejanita.” Rick was in the Navy, but he was still heard via a pre-recorded tape.

They brought ‘Teen’s Choice’ to KEDA with Manuel Jr. and his brother Roy as the show’s hosts, but that’s when the Davila’s realized that the real money was in Spanish-language radio and by now all the Chicano bands, such as Sunny and Little Joe, had started to record in Spanish.

Meanwhile Henry Pena, Jesse Vallardo Jr. and Rudy Rocha filled in their void when they spun off with their own shows on KUKA.

When Rick finished his two-year military stint, he hit the airwaves with his antics and became an instant hit. But according to Gilbert Rodríguez of Gilbert’s Restaurant, he said, “what endeared KEDA to everyone is that they gave everybody a chance by playing their music regardless of fame or no fame.”

“Our father taught us to fight for our local talent because there are musicians out there that are good,” Rick said. “They just have to be given the opportunity. So we played music that nobody else would play. We were a mom and pop operation and we didn’t make any hones about it because ours was a blue collar worker station.”

In regard to his monikers, Rick says that one day Capirucha walked in and corrected a word he mispronounced, than he turned to his father and said, “’Ese pinche Güero Polkero’ and from that point on I started saying, ‘les habla el güero polkero.’ Chalito Johnson told me to stop saying it that way. Then Manny Guerra came up with ‘Güero Polkas’ when I recorded for GP Records.

“As for the ‘Wolfman’ I actually met Wolfman Jack, but it was Ben Tavera King that kept referring to me as the ‘Wolfman Jack of Tejano music’ in his San Antonio Express-News column when I was playing keyboards. Then Jim Beal and his wife picked up on that and kept it going.”

There’s so much more the average person does not know about the 5-feet-7-inch tall radio legend, but he’s got such a long history and we only have so many inches for this story. So we now fast-forward to the day when the University of Jalapeño was sold on July 31, 2011.

“In a way I felt kind of bad towards the end because this was dad’s pride and joy, his biggest accomplishment and our home for 45 years, solo que me aguite.”

We didn’t mention, Rick’s quiet brother, Albert, who started out as a gofer and worked his way up to general manager, nor his sister and his mother, both named Madeline, who could all be found at KEDA on any given day.

On the personal side Güero and his wife, Mary Louise, are the proud parents of Richard John, Michael Anthony, Robert Sebastián, José Luis, Manuel Alberto, Mary Louise and Marla Anna Dávila.

“They all sing, write songs and produced 17 grandchildren. So I’m now a stay-at-home grandpa and I love it,” Güero said with one of his famous growls.

“As for the future, if something comes my way and they are willing to pay, I’m available and I’m established so don’t ask me to try out or audition.”

Tejano Music Lost Two More Greats in June

Story and photos by Ramón Hernández

Both musicians that passed on were not household names because both fell under the umbrella of the bandleaders.

For years, countless of bands covered “Juana La Cubana,” “La Gallina,” “El Colesterol” plus countless other hits, but each time we heard them on the radio or announced at clubs, it was always the latest hit by Fito Olivares y La Pura Sabrosura. However, the voice that interpreted all these hits was Fito’s brother and drummer, Javier Olivares.

Other commercial breakthroughs were “La Negra Catalina,” “Aguita de Melon,” “La Ranita” and countless others.

Fito, whose real name is Rodolfo, wrote all those best-selling records and his saxophone drove La Sabruosura’s. Brother Jaimé augments Fito’s saxophone, but it was Javier who sang the songs.

Javier, was born in Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico on April 26, 1954, but was a long-time resident of Pasadena, Texas where most of the family now lives

The Olivares brothers, Javier, Jaimé and Fito relocated to Houston in 1977 and formed La Pura Sabrosura in 1980 and started to enjoy great success in the late 1980s. And for the record, their other brother Joél, was never a part of the group, but Javier’s son, Miguel Martín, has been the group’s percussionist for over a year.

Javier had been hospitalized for two months and it was after surgery to treat stomach cancer that he passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 10 at age 57.

As is life, the show must go on and on Friday, June 22, La Pura Sabrosura performed at Graham Central Station in a concert dedicated to Javier’s memory with Fito Olivares Jr. replacing his uncle on drums and Eagle Pass-native Adrian Díaz was introduced as the new voice for the group.

The second musician, Leonel Pulido, was born in La Palmita, Nuevo León, Mexico, but the well-recognized accordionist lived in Elsa, Texas for most of his life.

In January of 1974, his nephews, Joél “Gordo,” saxophone; Roél “Flaco,” saxophone; José Roberto “El Primo” Pulido Jr., bajo sexto and vocals; and he, on accordion, formed the original Los Clasicos. The rest as they say, is history.

On Tuesday, June 19, Leonel suffered a heart attack as he was being transported in an ambulance to Edinburg Regional Medical Center when he died enroute. He was 67.

As an acclaimed accordionist, Leonel’s musical legacy will live on through his hundreds of recordings with Roberto Pulido y Los Clasicos.

May both musicians rest in peace, amen.

Abie Epstein’s Legacy Was Music

“Although real estate made up ninety-five percent of his adult life, Abie Epstein’s legacy was his creation of the San Antonio Sound,” Henry Peña stated during his opening remarks at Esptein’s memorial service.

“No one can take the San Antonio Sound away from him,” Richard “Pache” Acosta of the former lead singer of Al and the Pharoahs.

“He had his finger on the pulse of this city,” former KONO personality Wild Bill Riley said. “He knew the DNA of this town and that will never be duplicated. You could not play the music of San Antonio unless you played something produced Abie.”

“He had something that you can’t learn from a book,” former KONO disc jockey Chris Kelly added. “Music is worthless without someone to coordinate and his chemistry was perfect.”

Henry Hernández of the Royal Jesters, who was unable to get the time off work to attend said, “Above all, he was a friend and a mentor to me and many musicians during the time Óscar Lawson used to engineer at his studio. In our case, we started out on Harlem Records, but we were aiming higher, so we went to Abie.”

Peña, who had been friends with Epstein since high school, was there with his him from the formation of his band, Henry and the Kasuals, recording for Epstein’s record label and doing distribution with Epstein’s record company.

“As a teenager in San Antonio, every high school had a garage band, but it wasn’t ‘a band’ unless you recorded at Abie’s recording studio. We just wanted to be on vinyl and hear it on the radio, than the teenagers in high school would buy the music to keep it going. Abie also helped me in radio and television,” Peña continued.

When Peña reached twenty-three and felt he was on top of the world, Abie gave him the best advice a friend could offer, he said, “It doesn’t work that way, get your real estate license and you’ll never be out of a job.” So Peña when to San Antonio College for six weeks and today he continues to be a successful real estate man.

Most at Epstein’s memorial were family and real estate connections. The only entertainment figures present were Peña, Acosta, a former drummer with the original Kasuals; Roger “Pache” Ruiz, who played drums with The Commands, the Playboys plus JJ and the Dell Tones to name a few. Also Alfredo “Güero” Cortinas, a middle 1960s bouncer and body guard at the Cadillac Club and Jesse García, the curator of the Westside Sound.

The three most moving tributes came from Abie’s wife Angela, his daughter Cheryl and his son Jason, who played one of his father’s recordings. It was also interesting to note that all the musicians present, including his nephew Nathan Wilson (his sister Esther Epstein’s son), were all drummers.

This writer could continue with paraphrased information borrowed from other sources, but will instead guide you to the best written obituary, which is by Héctor Saldaña and can be read at MySanAntonio.com.

Epstein died on Friday the 13th from two heart attacks. He was 74. Six days later, Dick Clark, another music icon died of a massive heart attack at 82.

Steve Jordan’s Sons Carry the Torch Forward

Steve Jordan’s music lives on.

It’s been one and a half years since el sabio del acordeon passed on and while there are countless recordings available for years to come, his youngest sons, Esteban III and Ricardo Jordan, have taken their father’s legacy one step further by continuing to perform his music through live music performances.

“We’re carrying the torch forward,” Steve III, as he prefers to be called, and Richard said during an interview at their Westside home.

Steve III, was born in Harlingen, Texas. His brother Ricardo was born in San Benito, Texas and both grew up with their father and mother, Nelda Pérez.

“We grew up with Silver and Boni (their uncles Silvestre and Bonifacio Jordan, timbales and drums), Charlie (Hettrick) and all the musicians because they would practice at home, but I didn’t realize dad was so well known until my elementary school teaches would tell me, ‘you know, you’re dad’s famous.’ However, I was a child and I thought everybody loved music and jammed at home.”

“We grew up going fishing with my dad,” Ricardo added of the simple down-to-earth life they lived.

This is about the time when Steve would go to Los Angeles and perform with Santana and Jerry García in shows that drew Linda Ronstadt, Bruce Willis and numerous other Hollywood actors. In fact, even the Gispy Kings flew in from Spain to see the accordion wizard do his magic; and the video to prove it can be seen on www.youtube.com.

“When we got older, dad flew us up to an outdoor concert in Houston and we were blown away by the huge crowd who had come to see our dad. That was impressive.

“A few years later, when I was about eight or nine when my dad wanted to see where I was at and got me to sing along with him; and I made my debut singing ‘La Postera’ with dad and Frankie Caballero as the opening act in Combes, Texas.”

The Jordan brothers later followed their father to San Antonio where Steve III attended Rayburn Middle School and John Jay High School. The first instrument he learned to play was the alto saxophone as a member of the marching band. Then he went back to the Rio Grande Valley where he graduated from Donna High School. His younger brother trailed by about three grades.

Steve III was eighteen when he started learning to play guitar and bass plus do backup vocals. This worried his mother, who because of their father did not want her sons to follow in his footsteps. However, after two of Steve’s musicians quit and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and left him in a bind, in order to fulfill a commitment in Houston, Steve asked his sons, “Who wants to play bass and who wants to play guitar?”

Steve III, who was now also playing congas, thought it was easier for Ricardo to learn bass because it was a lot simpler.

“We made it a point to learn and with dad teaching us, it wasn’t too hard. In the past, he had to show other musicians over and over, but with us, there was no problem. So we practiced and learned thirty tunes over three weeks. And before Christmas in 1999, we went and did the gig at the Casino Ballroom in Houston and Christmas Eve at Rio Nilo (now Fuego) in San Antonio. After that we did the Tejano Conjunto Festival in Rosedale Park and we were on our way,” Steve III recalled.

When Steve III switched to congas, his father was able to do the guitar part with his accordion; and between Steve, his two sons, they sounded like six musicians and were able to put on a kick-butt show.

Once they immersed themselves, their innate talent surfaced and Steve III added soprano sax, flute and keyboards to the long list of instruments he now plays. Ricardo also plays keyboards, drums, other percussion instruments and both brothers play accordion. Then Steve told them it was time to step up to the microphone and start singing lead vocals.

“To us, it was like wow,” Ricardo said.

It was circa 2001 when the Jordan brothers moved back to the Alamo City and they became the house band in Saluté, owned by Azeneth Dominguéz, Steve’s caretaker and girlfriend of 27 years.

Ya cuando estaba falleciendo (As he neared death) he was unable to sit in one sport for more than one hour and was thus unable to travel and we had to fulfilled artistic contracts for our dad in Phoenix, Chicago and Ohio.”

I last time this writer visited with Steve at his home, he said he had hundreds of unreleased tunes he had recorded over many years. Those have yet to be released, but Steve III says that project is still in the works. In addition, they are also compiling a set of their own original recording for future release. Meanwhile they do have a four-song promotional compact disc which contains “Viente Años,” “La Mucura,” “Sopilote Mojado,” and instrumental; and a progressive accordion very Steve Jordan innovative style version of “La Bikina.”

Rio Jordan was the name of their father’s band and his two younger sons are now forging ahead with the same name, but today the group consists of Steve III, vocals, flute and percussion; Ricardo, bass and vocals; Juanito Castillo, accordion; and Alejandro “Alex” Valdez, drums.

Robert Luis Pérez fills in whenever Juanito is unable to perform and they sometimes add Rick Cortez on saxophone.

For a long time, many fans thought the two brothers were twins, however Steve III has let his hair grow out and he now looks just like a taller, güero version of his father.

Steve III and Ricardo inherited their father’s 24-track recording studio and are spending every day perfecting their sound as they prepare for a major gig at Casino Del Sol in Tucson.

“We’re full-time musicians and our only thing is the music,” Ricardo said. “We all play accordion and we have our father’s legacy backing us up”

“As for gigs, we are able to do four hours y somos (and we are) Jordans, so a majority of our repertoire is dad’s music, some originals plus some standard covers. So it’s pretty much my dad’s same show, but we do incorporate some new stuff too.”

Steve’s last compact disc and musical goodbye was “Carta Espirtual” on Jordan Records and it, as well as the Jordan brother’s promo CD, is available at www.estebanjordan.com, now under reconstruction. For booking call (210) 649-6570.

Latin Actors, Singers, Musicians and Promoters Who Passed On in 2011

Axel Martínez, Puerto Rican composer and lead singer with La Orquesta de Pedro (Gonga) López passed on January 30.

Ezequiel “Zeke” R. Saucedo, who with Sam De León convinced Emilio Guerrero to form Charro band, died in Corpus Christi on January 30 at the age of 57.

Danny Yanez, who many musicians referred to as “an accordionist’s accordionist” because of his progressive style, passed on Febuary 4, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Eddie Galván, a longtime Miller High School band leader, former Corpus Christi Port Authority commissioner, and a founding member of the Texas Jazz Festival, went to be with our Lord on February 15, sixty-one years and two days after the grand opening of the Galván Ballroom. He was 83.

Antonio “Tony” Ambriz Garza, who helped launch his sons’ musical careers in Tejano through Los Musicales, which in turn served as a springboard for others well-known vocalist went on to be with the Lord on March 27 after a stroke and leukemia weaken his body and he died of natural causes. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, daughter, Rebecca E. Gómez; and sons, David Lee Garza, Adam and Richard; plus 12 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Huey P. Meaux a.k.a. the Crazy Cajun was a controversial studio and record label owner who helped define the Gulf Coast sound through hits by Sunny (Ozuna) and the Sunliners, the Sir Douglas Quintet and Freddy Fender. The 82-year-old legendary producer died at his Winnie, Texas home in April 23, two months after this writer had the privilege of being granted an exclusive interview for the books on Ozuna and Fender.

Víctor Manuel Sánchez, who was born on July 27, 1954, died on April 29 and the U.S. Army Veteran was buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.

Santiago Cerón, a Dominican sonero-songwriter born July 25, 1940 and recorded 32 albums during his illustrious career, died of a heart attack on May 10.

Humberto López Lozano a.k.a. “Capirucha,” who owned KMIQ, KXTM, KHMC and KLMO plus formed the Tejano Music Video Network went to be with our Lord on May 16 after battling a long illness. The Tejano Roots Hall of Famer was 74.

Juan Ignacio Murillo a.k.a. El , who played bass with Siglo 21, Brown Express, was a founding member of Mazz and founder of The Force, died peacefully in Brownsville, Texas on May 18.

Snowball was the name he was best known under, but his real name was Ramiro De La Cruz, a guitarist with Óscar Hernández y Los Algres del Valle, Carlos Guzman y Los Fabulosos Cuatro, Fandango, co-founder of Los Unikos and founder of Snowball and Company featuring Laura Canales and most recently performed with Los Mensajeros de Cristo. The McAllen native and Tejano Roots inductee was 68 when he passed on May 20.

Gloria Valencia de Castaño, the “First Lady of Radio and Television” in Colombia, left us on May 24.

Manolo Otero Aparicio, one of Spain’s most famous balladeers died of cancer on June 1 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On the personal side, he was married to actress-singer María Cantudo, the mother of his only son (Manolo Jr.) and Brazilian beauty Celeste Ferreira. Hence the reason he spent most of the last decade performing all over South America.

Javier Villanueva a.k.a. “The Dean of Tejano” and co-founder of the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame died surrounded by family in Alice, Texas on June 10 on his 61st birthday.

Abelardo “Cha Cha” Jiménez Sr. was a conjunto music legend, who sang with el Conjunto Bernal prior to forming his own Los Chacos. The Raymondville, Texas, who spent most of his life in Alamo, Texas and was inducted into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame in 2003 died from liver cancer on June 15. The singer, who replaced Snowball in Los Fabulosos Cuatro when he was drafted into the Army, is survived by his wife, Marina, and three children, Abelardo Jr., Jessika and Ronica Jackson.

Joe Ramos of the Brownsville, Texas based Ellos passed on some time in the latter part of June, but web searches in Rio Grande Valley newspaper obituaries have fail to turn up any information, therefore we are asking any readers that know his date of death, or family contact number to please contact StreetTalk at (210) 614-6146.

Manuel Galban, the Grammy winning Cuban guitarist with the Buena Vista Social Club died of a heart attack on July 7. He was 80.

Facundo Cabral, an Argentine vocalist, traveled to 165 countries as a messenger for world peace and was once nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize was at the wrong place at the wrong time when gunmen – planning to kill a promoter in Guatemala – opened fire on his vehicle while en route to the airport on July 9. The world-famous literary arts author, songwriter and protest singer entered the musical field as El Indio Gasparino, before settling on his own name. A highly spiritual human being, he loved Jesus and the writing of Ghandi, Borges and Whitman.

Albert “Cornelio” Reyna Jr. died an unexpected death in a Mexico City hospital on August 8. He is survived by his wife, Norma Alicia López, and their four children: Alberto Alejandro, César Cornelio, Sebastián Eduardo and Fernanda Romina. Before dying, Reyna had recorded a tribute album to his father.

Guillermo Zarur Collado, a Mexican actor born July 20, 1932, died on August 8. He was 79.

Enrique Cáceres Méndez, who replaced Johnny Albino as lead vocalist with Los Panchos, passed on August 22 in Mexico City. He was 75.

José “Pepe” Ontiveros Meza, composer and lead vocalist for Los Canelos de Durango, never cameo ut of a coma in a Culiacaán, Sinaloa hospital and was declared dead on September 8.

Capulina, the beloved Mexican actor-comedian-TV personality whose real name was Gaspar Henaine Pérez, died on September 30.

Frank Ramírez Ontiveros, actor born July 6, 1959, died October 4, 2011, he was 52.

Raúl Salazar, harmónica player and the third voice of Cuarteto Armónico in Mexico passed on December 13. Other members of this popular quartet are Carlos López, lead vocalist; Julio Salazar, second voice; and Antonio Córdoba, fourth voice.

Silvestre Amadeo Flores died on December 17 at the age of 79. This beloved pioneer accordionist, who in 2008 dedicated his life to Jehovah God, began his musical journey in 1949 and he continued to play into this century. As Villanueva, Flores was also associated with the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame.

Pedro Armendáriz Jr., who was most recently seen by all Univision telenovela viewers on “La Fuerza del Destino” as Señor McGuire, died of cancer on December 26. The ultra well respected actor was 71.

During 2011 it was rumored that popular actors and televisión hosts Xavier López and Chabelo had died. The same was said of Fidel Castro, but there was no truth to any of those falsehoods.

In closing, let me quote an unattributed saying and that is, “Lo importante es vivir estando vivo.” It loses something in the translation, which is “What is important is to live while you’re alive.”

J.R. Martinez & Karina win Dancing with the Stars

Congrats go out to J.R. Martinez and Karina , just when we all thought the fix was in after the results showed Rikki Lake came in third ” I thought I was gonna die” However , the best finally won. Then after getting ready to write something about his victory I could not find anything on the net or on the news! Had that other (2nd place person had won, I feel the media would be shoving it down our throats for a week. So I write this in honor of J.R. and his military service and for all in our military. And for those of you who are not to familiar with J.R. here is a little bio on him I found on Dancing with the stars website from ABC. His real name is Jose Rene..DOB June 14,1984.What is not included below is that he is not married. Has a girlfriend “Diana Jones” who is an executive assistant for ABCs hit sop opera “All My Children” He was in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell in Kentucky when he was deployed to Iraq in 2003. He is originally from Shreveport, LA via El Salvador where his mothers family is from. I salute you J.R. for giving all of us with a handicapp, the inspiration and motivation to keep pushing forward in life and work. You are an example of making all the hard work and re-hab well worth it………………

J.R.s bio

J.R. Martinez is an Iraq war veteran, motivational speaker and actor on ABC’s All My Children. In April 2003, at 19 years old, he was serving as a Humvee driver for the U.S. Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body.

J.R. was immediately evacuated and sent to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio where he spent 34 months in recovery. Since his injury, he has undergone 33 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. While in recovery, he started speaking to other burn patients within the hospital, sharing his experiences and listening to theirs. News of his story and efforts to help others quickly spread, first on a local level and then to national circuits, leading to appearances on Oprah, 60 Minutes, CNN and more.

Bilingual in English and Spanish, J.R. has traveled the country since 2004, spreading his message of resilience and optimism. Today he is a sought-after motivational speaker and has shared the stage with many notable individuals. In October 2008, J.R. joined the cast of ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama All My Children as combat veteran Brot Monroe.

Born in Shreveport, LA, he moved to Hope, AR, where he and his mother lived until he was 17. They moved to Dalton, GA, just prior to his senior year, the place J.R. proudly calls his hometown. J.R. continues to balance his motivational speaking engagements and charity work with his acting. He is also busy working on his memoirs.

Celebrity Fathers

We see local, regional, national and internationally famous singers on stage, on magazine covers and newspaper articles, but the average person never stops to think that they too are parents, fathers and grandfathers. Therefore River City Attractions is proud to pay tribute to celebrity fathers we all know with this exclusive photo layout. Happy Father’s Day!

  1. Salvador with his internationally famous father Carlos Santana.
  2. Abraham Quintanilla Jr. with his son A.B., daughter Suzette and grandson Savani.
  3. Arturo Castillo with sons Sergio and A.J. Castillo
  4. David, Leonardo Jr., Flaco Jiménez and daughter Becky.
  5. Albert Zamora with his talented children, A.J. and Lyric
  6. Tejano crooner Carlos Guzmán with his son Jorge.
  7. Emilio III, Emilio Navaira Jr. and Diego Navaira, two of Emilio’s sons.
  8. Estella with father Rudy Guerra, founder of Latin Breed and brother Isai.
  9. County Commissioner Paul Elizondo is not only a father, but grandfather to Sofia, Marisa and Adelina.
  10. Stefani Montiel with her father Dwight Sullivan and mother Betty
  11. Ram Herrera with daughters Lisa, Marlena and Katherine
  12. John, Freddie Martínez Sr., Marc and Freddie Jr. make up the Freddie Records dynasty.
  13. José Luis Ayala of Los Bravos del Norte with son José Luis Jr.
  14. Steven Ray and Ramiro Carlos proudly look at their father Ramiro “Ram” Herrera
  15. Recently departed Tony “Ham” Guerrero passed the torch to his son, Alfredo Antonio.
  16. Gary Lee Hobbs Jr. and his father Gary Hobbs, also known as El Borrado.”
  17. Pedro Rivera was famous long before his son, Lupillo Rivera became a household name.
  18. Eric Lee and his father, Lee Villarreal of Desperadoz.
  19. Armando “Mando” Hinojosa of Los Fabulosos 4 with handsome son Ariel.
  20. David Lee Jr., now 29 and the father of David Lee II with his father David Lee Garza.
  21. Cleto Escobedo III, band leader for the Jimmy Kimmel Live nightly television talk show and his father his father Cleto Jr., Gibby Escobedo’s brother and formerly with Los Blues also plays saxophone in his son’s television band.
    Nick Villarreal and his beautiful, sexy daughter Nanci.
  22. Javier Galvan and family
  23. Last but not least, We’ve had the Lords Prayer and now we have the Lords Singer in Javier Galvan with his beautiful wife Norma, daugther Bella, and son little Javi. I hope this is not the time when he called me for directions to Helotes! cause it looks like he made it to the Rocky Mountains!!!!!!!!