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Raulito Navaira Breaks into Television

Raulito Navaira is a good example of what talent, coupled with determination and a little luck, can achieve in spite of the odds.

It’s one thing to be a guest on television shows or to film a video for airing on countless television entertainment programs; however, there are few singers that can boast about being selected by an international company as the sole television personality to promote their line of products. This is the case of Raulito, who after much research, was picked by Barcel U.S.A. to be the official spokesperson in the entire Great State of Texas. Barcel U.S.A. is the snack division of Grupo Bimbo with such products as Toreadas potato chips.

This is quite an accomplishment in view of the fact that less than one year ago Raulito was just contemplating recording his first solo album.

“I had written dozens of songs for inclusion in other albums, but this time my compositions reflected my own life, my own experiences,” Raulito said during an interview at the Hispanic Entertainment Archives.

God works in mysterious ways, as the proverb goes for years his mother, María Navaira, his wife Josie and Leslie Salazar had been co-workers at Vestal Elementary School. Everyone knew each other and their families would run into each other at various school events but that was it. That is, until August of last year when Leslie’s husband, Orlando Salazar and Raulito discussed, “Why don’t we get together and start a record company?”

Orlando is the president of Salazar Investment Group, which owns a series of diversified businesses that include an insurance agency, rental properties, real estate development projects and interest in agricultural projects.

The merger of Raulito’s talent as a singer, songwriter, arranger and sometime comic and Salazar’s thirty years of business experience resulted in the formation of Mis Visiones Records. Their first release was titled Simplemente Raulito and through Orlando’s contacts, they were able to do what was deemed difficult for an independent record label. They secured a distribution agreement with Wal Mart to have the compact disc placed in over 100 stores in fifteen different states. To top it off, the title track, Bajo de Tu Sombra, made Billboard’s regional Mexican charts.

Raulito’s tunes were on heavy radio rotation, the CD was selling, it was charting and all this was being noted by Barcel U.S.A., a Mexico-based snack line of production that includes chips, candy, cookies and peanuts.

In November, the business partners inked a contract with Barcel U.S.A. and embarked in a series of promotions. They held in-store meet-and-greets where the jovial singer-songwriter posed for pictures with fans and autographed hats, photos, posters and bags of Barcel products such as Takis and Toreadas potato chips.

Barcel management took note of Raulito’s popularity which led them to ask if he had any other promotional ideas.

The vocalist, who delights audiences with his now famous pasito (dance step), has long been a fan of late night talk shows. So without hesitating, he responded, “How about a late night talk show featuring the best of the Hispanic people and culture?” “It’s always been a dream of mine,” he added. They liked the idea and they said, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”

Shortly after that, Raulito won the coveted Premios a La Música Latina “New Artist of the Year” category.

Fans love Raulito because he’s full of life and that registers on his smiling face that radiates happiness as he jokes around on stage and goes through his famous pasito.

“I was never the class clown and I’m not a jokester, but I can make people laugh,” he said with a jolly laugh.

In less than a year many things have been accomplished that normally would take three to five years. Like Batman and Robin, the dynamic duo of Orlando Salazar and Raulito Navaira are bound to surprise us with wonderful television entertainment.

Raulito’s television show is already airing on FOX network television stations in San Antonio, Houston, Victoria, Lubbock, Midland-Odessa, Corpus Christi and the River Grande Valley each Saturday and Sunday night and Salazar describes it as “David Letterman meets Don Francisco’s Sabado Gigante.”

The first program featured Little Joe. The second program features Colombian Aniceto Molina and his contagious vallenato style plus actress Ara Celi airs on Aug. 21 and 22.

Everyone is familiar with Ara Celi, she used to be on “All My Children” and had the lead role in “Looking for Lola.” She also appeared on “Law and Order” and “Nip/Tuck.” Next she is co-starring opposite Robert De Niro, Steven Seagal, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodríguez and Danny Trejo in “Machete,” which is slated for a September release. Future guests will include Alicia Villarreal, Daddy Yankee and other internationally known Latino artists. Doe’s everyone remember “on bandera rd just 2 blocks outside loop 410”.

The highly entertaining opening, which shows Raulito running all over the Alamo City, will hook television viewers into staying tune for the rest of the program.

Next, Gabriel Barajas clicks his drum sticks together and the Best Buy Band a.k.a. the 3 B’s – Chris Arocha, accordion; Diego Navaira, keyboards; Emilio Navaira IV, guitar; Doroteo “Trey” Villegas, guitar; and Rodrigo Navaira, bass — kick in with a opening catchy instrumental tune and their talent rivals that of any late night show orchestra.

After Raulito’s monologue, he will introduce Little Joe’s new hot sauce and interview the onda chicana music icon. Then there’s a cooking segment with Leticia Sepulveda of Don Pedro’s Restaurant, there’s prizes for the audience and of course a song performed by the “King of the Brown Sound.”

Throughout the program, Raulito will be surrounded by the Toreadas Girls, who are Desiree Carrillo, Courtney De La Rosa, Goria Esparza, Claudia Hill, Víctoria Martínez, Macy Miranda and María Tovar.

In addition, Destiny Navaira entertains the studio audience during set changes.

The next taping of Raulito’s Show will take place at Sam’s Music Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 17, Aug. 31, Sept. 14 and Sept. 28. Raulito records two shows before a live studio audience on one night. Henceforth the show will tape at the same location every other Tuesday.

Check with your television station for the exact time Raulito’s show airs in your local area. Watch it and you’ll get hooked for the rest of the season.