Monday, April 24, 2006

Los Grandes de la Musica Tejana

Though I expected to have a relaxing long weekend on account of the San Jacinto Day state holiday Friday, it wound up being pretty busy.

The Ron Titter Band played at Room 710 Friday night. We didn't get a huge crowd, but I felt pretty good about the show itself. It was the most spirited performance we've given since our first gig and we played three new songs - including what I hope will be America's next big dance hit, "Do the Fonkey Horsey."

If we can just convince Mutt Lange to leave Shania and the Alps for a few months, I think we could bank on that last one. Then I'd be able to quit my state job and bring Pancho's Mexican Buffet back to Austin alongside my attached dream nightclub, "Pancho's After Hours," which would be inaugurated with a concert by the reunited Judy's).

On Saturday, I did an interview with Tejano music pioneer Sunny Ozuna after his "Los Grandes de la Musica Tejana" show with Little Joe and Ruben Ramos at UT's Bass Concert Hall. Ozuna grew up on the south side of San Antonio and had a big hit in 1963 with Sunny & the Sunglows' version of Little Willie John's "Talk to Me." He performed the song on "American Bandstand" when he was still in high school.

In all those years of playing dance halls throughout Texas and beyond, Ozuna has played rock, country, R&B, gospel, Tejano and everything in between. He was an interesting, friendly person to interview and I'm looking forward to writing about him.

6 comments:

jennifer said...

My stepdad Larry Lange's band The Lonely Knights covers a few Sunny Ozuna tunes--he even learned Spanish for "Carino Nuevo." Awesome that he is still playing...

Greg said...

I think I remember reading that in the Statesman. I still need to see them!

You should let me know if your stepdad's band ever plays Houston. My mom grew up in Victoria on all those South Texas regional hits, so she'd be totally into that, too.

Anonymous said...

Austin has a Pancho's. It's down on the southside of 71 just west of MoPac, atthe Monterrey Oaks exit.

Greg said...

Unfortunately, that Pancho's has closed (unless it miraculously reopened when I wasn't looking).

jennifer said...

Larry grew up in Victoria, too. I wonder if they knew each other? What's her maiden name? (You can email me if you don't wish to spill your mom's private life on the internets...)

I think you'd really like his band, either way. It's like Doug Sahm-meets-Swamp Pop!

TV5 said...

Sunny Ozuna is totally awesome. I talked to him on the phone last year about having my band back him up, but I sort of chickened out on actually going to his house to trade tapes and CDs. I need to put that back on my list of stuff to do no matter how intimidating it is. the El Orbits recorded his song "Just a Moment" on our last record and I've been slowly but surely collecting 45's from here and there in English and Spanish from him. He was huge in Houston back in the 60's and crossed over between Mexican radio and KNUZ 1230 AM, where rock and roll hall of fame DJ Paul Berlin played his tracks regularly. i would love to read a full length interview with him now.