INTERVIEW

The Birth of Tejano Part 2

Featuring: Juan Barco
Time: 2:46 minutes
Excerpt:"My belief is that the marriage between conjunto music and orquesta music became Tejano music."
full transcript

My belief is that the marriage between conjunto music and orquesta music became Tejano music-- what they call Tejano music.  And Tejano music was further enhanced by-- orchestras started being born out of the-- in the 50s, like Isidro Lopez.  Jimmy Martinez.  All these kinds of-- Alfonso Ramos.  People that played-- that knew how to read music, made their own songs. 

And Isidro Lopez-- he died, I believe, last year.  And he was considered, in a sense, to be the father of Tejano music in that sense.  But there was also this other orchestra, like Beto Villa, who was considered to be the father of, you know, orquesta music.  And at one point or another, those bands started getting accordions into the band-- into the orchestra.  Because they wanted to reach all peoples, so eventually, there was a lot of bands that formed.  For example, Sunny and the Sunglows-- Sunny Osuna.  He said himself he didn't really care too much for the Mexican music.  They were playing, like, what was being played then, which was either the doo-wop, or the rock and roll era.  And so he hit it really big with a song called "Talk to Me," which was a Little Willie John tune that had been recorded by Little Willie John with an R & B sound.  And that's kind of, like-- things were being borrowed from all over the place.  But he quickly found that, well, he wasn't really being booked everywhere.  He still had to rely on the Tejanos, or Mexicanos, to, you know, to-- if he was going to play, that's where he had to make his music.

And I think they-- they really developed it to a fine art in the 60s. Sunny and the Sunliners, the Latin Breed, Little Joe and La Familia, Alfonso Ramos, Gilbert and the Blue Notes.