Tejano Music History –
Sonny Ozuna

Sonny Ozuna was one of the great pioneers of what became the Tejano Sound. Born on the south side of San Antonio, he formed his first band in the 1950′s, Sunny and the Sunglows. His music in that first band was an eclectic mix of influences ranging from rhythm and blues, blues, American pop and rock, and mariachi music. Read more »

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Tejano Music Roots – Jimmy Gonzalez, Joe Lopez and Grupo Mazz

Mazz is a band that originates from Brownsville, Texas and came together in the early ‘70’s with the help of Jimmy González and Joe López. The group became one of the most successful Tejano crossover bands using synthesizers and combining Tex-Mex, Latin rhythms and Mexican music. Read more »

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Little Joe & The Latinaires

Little Joe & La Familia has been one of the most popular Tex-Mex bands in the business. Little Joe has been entertaining more than 50 years and has been called the “KING OF THE BROWN SOUND”. He has also helped pioneer “Tex-Mex”music, a mix of traditional “norteno” music, country, blues and rock styles.

Jose Maria DeLeon Hernandez “Little Joe” was born in Temple, Texas October 17, 1940. The 7th child of 13, his cousin, David Coronado, who was the front man for the band “David Coronado & The Latinaires” recruited Joe for guitar. Read more »

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Juan Guerrero

Juan Guerrero, born in Mission, Texas, showed signs of his musical talent at the early age of 5 as he picked up the accordion and by age 6 was singing along with his accordion for anyone who would listen. By the age of 11 he learned to play alto saxophone and, with his best friend Oscar Villarreal, started a band. This is when Guerrero picked up the bass guitar and sang harmonies with Villarreal. Their local popularity grew as they played at all the festivals around the Valley that featured different types of music. Guerrero began his professional career at the age of 15 when he was recruited to play for a popular group “Los Hermanos Banda” playing the saxophone, which he had mastered by this time. Read more »

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Tejano Music and Rock ‘n Roll

Tejanos were of course making music when the Spanish first settled in Texas in the 1700′s. Now for many years there was no discernible Tejano Music per se. The music could all be traced back to Mexico and then to Spain. Of course the corridos or ballads would reference local events, but the music was Spanish guitar, flute and drum, even harp. The music for a long while was indistinguishable from Mexican music. Read more »

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Oscar Villarreal

Oscar Villarreal was a young native of Mission, Texas when he started a band with his childhood friend Juan Guerrero. This time was during the Tejano Music of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s that brought a new fusion of cultures and the first La Onda Tejana Broadcasters. Villarreal’s first recordings were for the Falcon label which Freddie Fender also made some of his early recordings with. Read more »

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Tejano Music Roots: 1930-1940

Starting in the middle of the 1920s, Tejano music was produced by the major labels of the time: Victor, Columbia, and Okeh, who would hire regional talent scouts. These agents were often connected with music or furniture stores where record players and these records were sold. The Great Depression of the 1930s forced labels to produce cheaper records. The popularity of the jukebox by the mid-1930s was a major factor leading to more regional music being produced by these record labels. Read more »

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Tejano Music’s Early Years

Back in the 1850s Europeans from Germany and Poland migrated to Texas and Mexico and brought with them their culture and style of music and dance. The Spanish term Tejano has been used to identify these settlers and people of the region. From 1910 to 1917 the Mexican Revolution forced many of these Europeans to flee Mexico and settle in south Texas bringing along their musical influence which had a major impact on the Tejanos. Read more »

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