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San Antonio

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.

Hollywood Comes to the Alamo City

The Greater San Antonio Film Council is on a mission and that’s to bring Hollywood’s big bucks to the Alamo City.

In 1927, a silent movie about World War I was filmed in San Antonio and it went on to become the first film to win the Academy Award for “Best Picture.” Furthermore, “Wings,” also won a second Academy Award for “Engineering Effects.”

Since then, numerous other movies have been produced in the River City, but not as many as Austin. The state’s Capitol City boosts a total of four film organizations and this accounts why Austin gets so many of Tinseltown’s productions.

“All that is about to change because we have a great film community,” Al Frakes said during an interview at the Lion and Rose pub. Frakes is the chairman of the board of the S.A. Film Council. Minerva Nadler, vice president of Nadler’s Bakery and Delicatessen, plus also a member of the council’s board of director echoed his remark.

“We have actors, directors, producers, entertainment attorneys, film editors and scriptwriters,” Frakes continues.

“Minerva owns a bakery, but the bottom line is that everyone is part of the film industry because crews have to eat, dress, sleep and drive. This means they spend for restaurants, hotels, car rentals and gas. This is why the film industry is so important to San Antonio.

“Mayor Julian Castro is a strong supporter. Furthermore, his brother Joaquin and Councilman John Clamp serve on our board. The reason is because there’s money to be made.” Tejano singing superstar Rubén Ramos is another board member.

In fact, some of the celebrities present at the Northside pub were songbird Patsy Torres, Rita Verreos (“Survivor Fiji”), Brandy López (“General Hospital”) and Ricardo Lentini. The Italian actor was once Roberto DeNiro’s bodyguard and also appeared in “The Untouchables,” “Crime Stories” and “Good Fellas.” Now a local resident, he and Joel Sauceda are the co-owners of two New Forces Fitness Juice Bars.

Frakes and Nadler — who were once part of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau over six and a half years and oversaw the film commission — decided the film-makers community needed a civilian side because the S.A. Film Commission was so limited.

“It is only allowed so much because of their budget,” Frakes continued. “So in a way, their hands are tied. Meanwhile we have strong connections in Los Angeles.”

The result of these connections is that their first venture, “From Mexico With Love” starring Kuno Becker, Steven Bauer, Bruce McGill plus others will hold its Texas premiere here on September 29th.

“Therefore our priority is to bring more movie productions, to get more work for our city and that translates to more money for the city,” Frakes stated.
The S.A. Film Council’s motto is “Bringing the passion of filming back to San Antonio, Texas.” A tag line on their Web site also reads: “Remember when making movies was fun? Then come to San Antonio and find that magic again.”

For more information, or if you’re looking for the perfect location for those exterior shots, check out www.safstudiosinc.com.

The Best Guitarist in Mexico Calls San Antonio Home

Gilberto Puente and his twin brother Raúl rank among the “Worldwide Top Five” in the history of Mexico’s Golden Age of Trios.

Aside from that honor, maestro Rubén Fuentes, a classically trained musician, who has served as composer, producer, arranger and director with Mariachi Vargas, the “World’s Best Mariachi” for sixty years, named Gilberto “La Guitarra de México.”

In addition, Gilberto is also considered one of the best requinto players in the world. That’s quite an accomplishment for someone born in the small town of Anahuac, Nuevo León, México and whose parents, Gilberto Puente Quintero and mother Amparo González had no musical inclination.

“The only musician in our family was Tio Jose “Pepe” González and he played bajo sexto,” Puente said during an interview at his Northeast San Antonio home.

In 1945, his parents moved to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas where he continued his education.

“I was nine when my elementary school teacher, Juanita Pacheco, asked our class if anyone played an instrument, sang or recited poetry and nobody raised their hand. This was in February and the school was looking for talent for a Mother’s Day show.

“I didn’t even have a guitar, but they lent me one and I had to learn how to play it by May. That’s how I began,” the world famous guitarist explained.

A year later, his brother Raúl also learned how to play guitar and they formed Los Cuatitos Puente (The Puente Twins). Their first break came in 1947 when they met Felipe “El Charro” Gil, who later married San Antonio’s own Eva Garza.

Felipe’s brothers are Chucho and Alfredo “El Güero” Gil, the latter being one of the original Trio Los Panchos. With Felipe, Gilberto and Raúl recorded two songs written by Felipe Valdes Leal as 78-rpm singles for Discos Colombia.

With the addition of their brother, Gustavo, they started out the decade as Trio Los Hermanos Puente.

“In 1954, we lied to our father, who was an accountant. We told him we were going to Mexico City to work at a bank, but it was really to try out our luck as musicians at hotel restaurant bars,” Gilberto revealed.

“At Hilton Hotel, we performed for Jorge Negrette, Maria Felix, Dolores Del Rio plus many of the celebrities that stayed there and they would give us $100 peso tips. It was circa this time and at Los Globos Night Club that Virginia López baptized us Los Tres Reyes.

Gilbert was only twenty when he custom-designated his own requinto.

“The regular requinto had 18 frets and I extended mine to 23 frets; and most important, I did a recorte (cut inset) to my left hand would reach the high notes without any problem.

“We were doing well and in 1957, we read that Hernando Avilés had quit Los Panchos. So we invited him to join us,” the 74-year-old famed guitarist continued.

The following year they signed with Rogerio Azcárraga Madero’s Orfeón Records, they recorded “Odiame,” a song written by Federico Barret with music written by Rafael Otero López and which Los Panchos had turned down five years prior. Then it went on to sell ten million records.

“The most famous trios during the 1950s – in the order they were ranked worldwide — were Los Panchos, Los Diamantes, Los Ases, Los Cabelleros and us.”

“Incidentally, ‘Tristezas’ by José ‘Pepe’ Sánchez, considered to be the creator of the Cuban bolero, was registered in 1883,” Roberto “Bebo” Cardenas added.

In 1959 the trio recorded Bobby Capo’s “Poquita Fe” and that turned into another multi-million selling single. Their career skyrocketed as they toured all over the Latin Hemisphere on their own and also backing up Libertad Lamarque, Lola Beltran, María Luisa Landin, and Lalo “El Piporro” González. These tours included performances at the Alamo City’s Alameda Theater.

In the process, they reached the Silver Screen when they appeared in “Yo Quiero Ser Artista” backing up Virgina López on “Celoso;” and accompanying Agustin Lara on “Perdon” and “Hasta Morir.” Other films they appeared in were “Sin Carátula” and “Oro Blanco, Droga Maldita.”

They beat out Elvis Presley in popularity during the late 1950s, but when the Beatles hit the scene and English music invaded Mexico, trios started to lose popularity and in 1966, Los Tres Reyes disbanded.

However, they didn’t hang up their gloves completely. The twin brothers forged ahead as a part of numerous bands and orchestras that backed up Marco Antonio Muñiz and other Mexican greats.

Gilberto also wrote “O Papa Gallo” with a bossa nova beat and it was included in a movie soundtrack.

Twenty-two years later, in 1988, they regrouped with Johnny Albino on lead vocals. The Puerto Rican vocalist was also a former member of Los Panchos. Then he was replaced by Leonel Gálvez, of Los Tres Caballeros, followed by Luis Villa, who came onboard in 1993.

In between Gilberto continued to be in demand as a songwriter, a guitarist and a requinto player and joined Linda Ronstadt on her “Canciones de Mi Padre” sixty-city Tour.

He also backed up Placido Domingo, Vikki Carr, Pepe Jara, Fernando de La Mora and Soledad Bravo.

In 2004, Bebo Cardenas became the trio’s lead singer.

Three years ago, Gilberto, Raúl and Cardenas entered a recording studio in Hollywood to record “Hay Amores” with Shakira for inclusion in the movie soundtrack of “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

“We were recommended for this project by Andrea Bocelli’s guitar player,” Puente said.

This year alone, Los Tres Reyes have performed with the San Antonio Symphony, performed for a Smithsonian Museum National Folklife Festival in Butte, Montana and recorded a 20-song compact disc for the Smithsonian Institute.

Los Tres Reyes just returned from Puerto Rico and on September 28, they are headlining El Festival de Trios in Cali, Colombia.

As music icons, dozens of Los Tres Reyes videos can be seen on www.myspace.com and there’s a kick-butt Q-Productions video and CD available at most record stores.

The one thing this writer did note is that in spite of their worldwide success, this legendary trio has yet to receive one award or be inducted into any music hall of fame; and it’s sad to know these icons have been overlooked for their contributions to music.

On Friday, September 24, Gilberto and Raúl will accompany Cardenas when he performs “Tierra Mexicana” at the Sing for Hope and Justice Awards show to be held at the Restoration Centre at 6401 Bandera Rd. Pre-sale tickets are available to Del Bravo and Janie’s record shops. For more information call Dr. Paul Ruiz at (210) 979-0575.

Julio César Chávez Jr. Wins Fight Plus a New Fan

Julio César Chávez Jr. won a fourteen-round fight over Irishman John Duddy on Saturday, June 26th by unanimous decision.

The fight took place at the Alamodome and a day prior to the event, Jorge Alejandro called to invite me to come out and take some pictures of him and Patsy Torres during an afternoon sound check. Alejandro was selected to sing the Mexican National Anthem and Patsy was chosen to sing the American Anthem.

However, they would not allow the press to enter until 4:30 p.m. and I missed the sound check. This meant I would now have to go the fight and I had to give the keynote speech to the River City Academy Class of 2010 at 6 p.m. at the far northwest Restoration Center in Leon Valley.

Giving a commencement speech was a new experience, but I got through it okay and after grabbing a quick bite, I made it back to the Alamodome by 9:35 p.m. arriving at the same time as Torres. She went to her seat and I walked around the long corridor of dressing rooms coming to a stop in front of Julio César Junior’s dressing room, where I ran into a police officer I knew. As we engaged in conversation, Julio César Sr. stepped out in a sharp tuxedo wearing a black rosary over it and a red headband that had “”6-26 Chavez Jr. 10” embroidered in white thread.

I had met the most celebrated athlete in México over twenty years ago and he remembered me. He didn’t say much, but before going out into the dome, he took off his headband, gave it to me and said, “put it on and nobody will question you being back here.” Héctor Pavón took a quick picture of us, than he walked off.

This meant I had free reign as an honorary member of Team Chávez Jr. whom all sported the same headband.

The one awkward and embarrassing moment came when Alejandro sang the Mexican Anthem. Thirty seconds into the anthem people were whistling and cheering as the large overhead screens showed Julio César Jr. warming up in his dressing room. After that the monitors flashed his opponent, Irishman John Duddy doing the same thing. All of a sudden the entire audience of thousands started hissing and booing extremely loud. Meanwhile, Alejandro was not aware of the reason. His face turned white and registered sheer panic as he heard all the booing.

“I was devastated,” Alejandro said afterwards. And he did not find out that the people were booing the image of Duddy on the screens, not Alejandro’s singing and I felt super bad for him, but he was alright after several people told him what had accidentally transpired.

I am not into boxing and after he and Torres sang, I was ready to go home, but I saw an empty spot on a ringside bench, I sat down, stayed and enjoyed the fight without snapping one photo. Realizing I had complete excess, I stayed until after the press conference. I was also invited to join the entourage for an early morning at Mi Tierra Restaurant. I decided to call it a night as I walked out as a new Julio César Jr. fan.

I admit I felt silly wearing that headband, but thanks to that token, I was able to take the exclusive photographs you see on this page — all thanks to the six-time world boxing champion and Mexican icon.

Joe Posada Proves Staying Power with Five Tejano Music Awards Nominations

Classy, saxy and innovative are some adjectives that have used to describe Joe Posada, a mainstay in this city’s music scene for 44 years.

This year, the ageless, versatile musician is nominated “Best Entertainer,” “Best Vocalist” and also in the “Best Vocal Duo” category for “Si Cocinas Como Caminas” in duet with Leslie Lugo. That same tune also received a “Song of the Year” nod and “Hermosa Soñadora,” recorded in a rhythmic boss nova groove was nominated the “Crossover Song” category. Both tunes are both off Posada’s “Point of View” compact disc, his latest release.

“By the time I finished elementary school, I was already a member of D.R. and The Interiors, a group of kids from around the San Juan Courts,” Posada said during an interview at his luxurious Westside home bearing the same address where he grew up.

“D” stood for David Casas on bass and “R” was vocalist Robert Gómez. Posada, saxophone; Greg Araiza, guitar; and Raúl “Ito” Reyes, drums; made up the rest of the band.

In 1967, a then 13-year-old Posada recorded his first 45 rpm single, “Por Ultima Vez,” as the sax player of Fito Riojas and The Sensations, which consisted of Daniel “Dumbo” Saldivar, Posada, Joe “Corky” Rodriguez, Cruz “Gole” Velásquez, Raúl Jiménez, Paul “Polito” Riojas, John Gallardo, Fito and Jesse González.

“I didn’t start singing until I joined Rudy Tee and the Reno Bops and Red Gonzales had me doing backup vocals on some songs,” the 56-year-old horn-man said.

A brief stint with Jesse Vallego’s Zapata followed and as Posada said, “When Joe Jama was going to quit, David Marez lobbied for me and took Óscar (Lawson) and Henry (Hernández) to listen to me. The Jesters used three-part harmony and I became one of their three voices in the ‘The Band’ album.”

In 1976, he was voted into the Mike Chávez All-Pro Band by his peers. By 1977, Marez had quit the Jesters to form People and Posada followed. One year stints with George Morín and Momentus plus Al Sturchio before Posada formed El Quinto Sol in June, 1982.

Before the year was over, he had recorded “Orale” and “Fuiste Tú,” his first single as a solo artist for Manny Guerra’s AMS Records; and “25 Corazónes” featuring “A Primer Vista” on the flipside for Bob Grever’s Cara label.

The following year, the singer-songwriter-musician won the Texas Association of Spanish Announcer’s El Zenzotli Award for “Best Tejano Group” and Posada was on his way to becoming a living legend. In 1984, he received his first Tejano Music Awards nomination for “Male Entertainer” and in ’85, his first nomination for “Male Vocalist,” not to mention countless nominations for “Single, Song and Album” plus “Duo” of the year nominations eventually winning “Best Tejano Horn Musician” and “Best Specialty Instrument” for playing the wind tone generator as he began to fuse and unify jazz, soul and polka thus making him stand out among a slew of conventional cookie-cutter groups.

“I now also play the ‘ewi’ (an electronic wind instrument),” the 2005 Tejano Roots Hall of Fame inductee added.

Along the way, Posada started carving a path jazzing up Tejano music with his innovation licks thus becoming a high-demand studio musician on recordings by Lisa Lopez, La Mafia, Mazz, La Fiebre at Eddie Alemán, Manny and Joey López’s Zaz recording studios as he simultaneously continued to churn out one Quinto Sol album after another on Cara, Capitol and EMI Latin; plus a CD with his son, Joe Posada Jr. for Fonovisa in early 1998.

“Right after that I dropped out of the scene because Tejano music was too accordion-spanked and at the time I was not using too much accordion in my music,” Posada said. “And at that time, my career was not going anywhere.”

This is when Posada turned to his first love, jazz; and for seven years he became a fixture in the Alamo City’s jazz circle as he performed and recorded with various jazz artists with a new look since he also shaved off his mustache, cut his hair a little shorter and started wearing a fedora.

“During this period, I also studied music theory, piano and basics at San Antonio College because I got the notion of being a music teacher.”

It was also during this musical seven-year itch that the world discovered Posada’s lyrical phrasing and timing with a song was comparable to Tony Bennett, who Frank Sinatra once described as a singer’s singer. This is especially evident in his “Here’s Looking at You” CD.

Another few hidden talents is that with the exception of his proficiency as a flute player, few people realize that Posada also plays accordion, piano, guitar and bongos. “In fact, I use the guitar and piano to compose many of my songs,” he said.

After EMI Latin, Discos Sony and other national labels abandoned the Tejano music genre, in 2004 and now a grandfather, Posada decided to form his own record company and produce other artists. And he named it Baby Dude Records because when his five grandchildren would come to the home, he would say, “hey, it’s the baby dudes.”

“Then and Now” was the perfect title for the first CD because he re-harmonized ten of his greatest hits and updated them with snazzy new sophisticated arrangements turning them into a multi-genre blend and making them a listener’s delight. Then he added five jazz tunes to educate and give his fans a taste of that genre. Best of all, the album garnered a coveted Grammy Award nomination.

His second album, “Amor y Fuego” received a Latin Grammy Award nomination. Then he produced “Corazon de Oro” for David Marez and that Baby Dude CD also got a Grammy Award nomination. To top it off, his third CD on his own label, “Despacito” earned a Latin Grammy nomination. This is the album which features a genie coming out of a saxophone and that was his daughter Analisa’s idea.

His “Friends and Legends” CD produced another Grammy Award nomination and “Yo Fui El Culpable” in duet with Jay Perez won the pair “Vocal Duo of the Year” at the 2008 TMA.

And the year before, the Taurus won the “Mejor Latin Jazz Album” at Premios a La Música Latina with “Jazzano” in which his flute playing mesmerizes the listener with “The Wright Choice.” That CD includes “Brazilian Moon” and “Up and In,” two more instrumentals that translate to sheer listening pleasure.

In view of the fact that Posada did not venture far after his re-entry into the Tejano market makes the number of Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations quite an achievement.

“A Grammy would be nice, but I’m not disappointed at all,” Posada said. “Happiness is playing a living doing music. That’s the secret of success for me. Before, I was looking for success when it was right here at arm’s length.”

As to why Posada re-entered the Tejano, he said, “One day I turned on the radio and everything seemed so pre-packaged and microwavable. So I said, ‘Somebody has to put their heart and soul into it.’ And what helps me on the sales end are distributors as Chano Elizondo. He’s the mero mero.”

As this writer scanned walls plus shelves and shelves full of certificates, ribbons, medals, trophies and other forms of awards, I realized it would take at least two full pages of this e-online news-server just to list his countless accolades. I had already compiled a comprehensive biography and discography and now I had another twelve pages of notes full of information, including the fact that Posada is also the author of “Sax: Technique of Actual Return” in which he explains cyclic sequence and other music terminologies beyond normal comprehension.

What is important for RiverCityAttractions readers is that each week, they can see the multi-Grammy nominated artist perform each Tuesday at Chacho’s on Callaghan Road, each Thursday at Chacho’s at Perrin Beitel, and at the 517 Lounge in Landry’s each Friday and Saturday. On Mondays and Wednesdays, he fills up the rest of his weekly calendar doing private corporate events at the San Antonio Convention Center.

As to the passing of the torch, Laura Ann Anderson plays guitar, Joe Jr. plays drums for his father, and Analisa plays violin, piano and flute, but is a part of the film industry in Hollywood and New York. None took up the drums, which was the first instrument he initially chose to play.

Furthermore, Laura Ann and Joe Jr. have made Joe and Rosalyn, his wife of 34 years, the grandparents of perhaps five more musicians with Matthew James, Zacchaeus, Christian, Joshua and Mia.

For everything else you want to know about Joe Posada, check out www.joeposada.com, www.myspace.com/joeposada and www.myspace.com/theofficialjoeposadamyspace.

San Antonio is Going Hollywood

“Lights! Camera! Action!

Those three little words spell money for the Alamo City’s economic and they spell magic for local movie goers who will enjoy seeing their city as the background for two films that will be shot in San Antonio in July.

These two new film productions are “Los Tres Pérez” and “Taking it.”

The first is a remake of “Los Tres García,” a Mexican musical starring Pedro Infante, Jorge Abel Salazar, Víctor Manuel Mendoza and Marga López.

López is the U.S. born blonde cutie that goes to Mexico and because of her beauty is wooed by the three García brothers whose screen grandmother is played by Sara García.

In the remake, the female lead is a brunette and comes to the United States where she is courted by the three handsome singing Pérez brothers.

All the singing parts in this production will be portrayed by Tejano singers. Among the contenders are for the female lead are Leslie Lugo, Lariza, Patsy Torres plus Cristal Martínez and Diana Treviño of Bandidas. However, there will be casting call and vocalists do not have to be recording artists.

Isaac Bazan, Ram Herrera and Javier Galván are the first two Tejano artists that have stepped up to the plate to play the García brothers. René René is a possible contender for the grandfather part and Belle Ortíz might reincarnate Sara García’s role.

The remake of this movie is the brainchild of Jorge Flores, also the executive producer. Roger Danny García, a former radio program director, is the film’s director with Roger Velásquez onboard as assistant producer.

River City Attraction’s readers that can act and sing are encouraged to audition for a part in this movie. To schedule an appointment, e-mail vdiscos@live.com. Insert “Casting Call” on the subject line and make it “Attn: Teresa.”

The casting call begins at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 23 and it will be held at Body Art Tattoos at 2109 Buffalo Street.

The second film to be filmed here is “Taking Over” and according to screenwriter René Salazar, “is based on personal real life experiences, plus that of his family members, friends and other people in the hood.”

“The basic plot is about an outside gang leader named “Rellick” – that’s killer spelled backward –that tries to take over the city. What he does not realize is that the small barrios, although being rivals, have stronger bonds and they join together to go up against Rellick’s large gang.

Doug Kirkman plays the intruder; and Johnny Pérez and Lyssette Maldonado head the rest of the ensemble. Theirs is a story within a story of love and redemption as they are faced with the choice of which path to follow.

This movie, which also stars noted established actors Pepe Serna and Jesse Borrego, also includes cameos by Little Joe and Rubén Ramos. Other actors in this film which Rubén Resendez co-wrote are Vince Bromo, Manny Santana, Alex Chávez and executive producer/actress Brandy López.

León Rodríguez and Jesús “Chuy” Carrera will be behind the scenes respectively serving as director and set coordinator.

Last year, “From Mexico with Love” was premiered at the Palladium and turned out to be a hit is now available at Wal Mart, Target, Blockbuster and other video outlets. And this week, shooting just wrapped up I Brownsville, Texas for “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” starring Mel Gibson playing a criminal being arrested by Mexican law officials.

Does all this mean Texas will soon be known as Hollytex or San AntoWood?

The Gateway to San Antonio’s Westside

East Los Angeles has an arch as one enters the “Brown Kingdom” via Whittier Boulevard. Here the barrio is spelled “varrio” and arch is a symbol of pride for the unincorporated area of East LA, which welcomes its residents as well as visitors.

Now the Gateway to San Antonio’s Westside via West Commerce Street too has its own impressive entrance. And it’s all due thanks to the late Manuel “Manny” Diosdado Castillo Jr., David Blancas, several businesses, corporations, organization and countless other participants.

The eye-catching new landmark — made possible by the San Anto Cultural Arts Community Mural/Public Art Program and Janis Wagley — is a mural titled “La Música de San Anto.”

It all started when Wagley, who owns Fast Action Bail Bonds, thought it would be nice to have a colorful mural of bluebonnets, the Alamo plus more artwork that depicted Texas; and in talking to several artists, Manny convinced her to feature a wall full of San Antonio musicians.

This writer/musicologist’s only critic is that they neglected to include Gloria Ríos, who as Eva Garza, also lived in the Alazan-Apache Courts and moved to Mexico, where Ríos introduced rock and roll to our South of the Border neighbor in 1955. She also became a famous movie star and married Adalberto “Resortes” Martínez Chávez.

There is a mural on the side of a building at the corner of Colorado and Buena Vista streets that features a female vocalist resembling Gloria Rios and it may be her. However, she is not identified. And before anyone else starts complaining about being left out, it must be noted that every artist featured on this impressive and moving mural has passed on and this is a posthumous honor.

Among those in attendance at the mural’s dedication were Randy Garibay’s brothers Isidro “Izzy” and Ernie; also his son Randy G. Jr. plus Randy’s first wife Cecilia Cortez and his widow Virginia Schramm Garibay. Lydia Mendoza’s daughter Yolanda, her husband Fernando Hernández and their two children, Anna and Rogelio were also present; as well as Jessamy, their granddaughter plus Manny’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Castillo Sr.

Photographer Jesse Lara and Efrain Gutiérrez, considered to be the first Chicano film maker was on hand to document the event in high definition.

Congratulations and big “thank you” to all sponsors plus all the volunteers who made this historical mural a reality; and may there be more “Música de San Anto” murals to follow.

In closing, here’s some food for thought in the way of a new project. What about a mural featuring the Royal Jesters, Rudy Tee and the Reno Bops and Dimas Garza of the Lyrics, whom all went to Lanier High School?

The ideal location for this one would be the side of a building coming off the Guadalupe Street bridge from downtown. Besides, the bridge leads right into the former site of the Alazan-Apache Courts and is near Lanier High School. Another thing, they could add to the mural is the Maya and Progresso movie theaters.

It could also include Sunny Ozuna of the Sunliners, Rene Ornelas of Rene and Rene, Arturo “Sauce” González, Spot Barnett, Jimmy Edward, Little Henry, Joe Posada, Louie Bustos and Al Gómez to name a few since all are exponents of the “Westside Sound.”

Paying tribute to San Anto’s women, Rita Vidaurri, Beatriz Llamas plus Emma Hernández, who sang with the Emilio Caceres Orchestra; and leading up to Patsy Torres, Lisa López and Shelly Lares could be the subject of another project.

The list goes on and on, but in reality, one wall would not suffice. So on the positive side, perhaps this will induce and motive someone with a building off the Guadalupe Street Bridge to provide the San Antonio Cultural Arts program with a wall to paint another mural. And it does not have to stop there since someone can also create something artistic as a “Gateway to San Antonio’s Southside.”

Meanwhile, the Alamo City now has a new tourist attraction and source of pride for el barrio del Westside.