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Little Joe Y La Familia

In the tradition of orquesta Tejana, Little Joe Hernandez is hardly a diminutive figure. He was highly influenced by the earlier performer Beto Villa, and together the two men are the most recognized figures in this genre, a sibling to the Mexican-American style known as conjunto. The two forms of music are literally singing history books. For many years the orquesta Tejano style was like the high class version of conjunto, the choice of upwardly mobile Tejanos who considered conjunto low-rent. Indeed, listeners such as this might actually scowl if a conjunto side was played, hearing a connection with what they feel they have left behind, the so-called backward and low-class Mexican way of life. Orquesta Tejana, on the other hand, was supposed to reflect upper-class status as well as biculturalism, the Mexican immigrants' increasing Americanization as well as their romantic attachment to their native roots. The "grande senor" Beto Villa is most often considered the inventor the style, bringing in the countrified, folksy ranchero style -- the word "ranchero" means "country." Villa could play both ranchero and what was called "jaitón," or "high class." It took another 20 years before Hernandez and his group, Little Joe y la Familia, took Villa's innovations and continued the expansion of ideas. The result has been called a true hybrid of ranchero and jaitón, bringing in everything from conjunto polkas to country & western, blues, and jazz. In the 1970s, Hernandez was definitely the big man in what was becoming known as la Onda Chicana or "the Chicano wave." One of his masterpieces is the ranchera entitled "Las Nubes" or "The Clouds," a synthesis of jazz and ranchero. It is rare for such an innovative piece of music to attain such popularity, but this theme did this among Chicano listeners throughout the Southwest.

Perhaps part of this accepting relationship with his audience is due to this artist's involvement with grass roots politics as well as music. In direct contrast to the social origins of his music, Hernandez is a man of the people, not some wealthy star living in a castle. He has thrown his weight behind major Chicano political issues as well as becoming involved in new movements within the recording industry as well. Sometimes known as "the king of the brown sound," Hernandez teamed up with other Chicano celebrities and business people to start the Chicano Alliance Network or CAN. This is an attempt to help link Chicano individuals and Chicano businesses which could assist each other. He was extremely vocal in support of the American Federation of Musician's "STAR" campaign, an acronym for Support Advancement in Tejano Recording. Originating in the late '90s, this was the first industry-wide organizing effort to set inequities right in the recording industry. Major labels are all parties to the AFM's labor agreements, but as a result of corporate structuring, musicians recording for separate but affiliated Chicano music labels -- such as EMI Latin, Sony Discos, and WEA Latina -- don't receive the same scale wages or other benefits of these contracts. Hernandez spent his childhood as a migrant field labor and is a longtime supporter of Cesar Chavez and United Farm Workers. The artist found STAR a similar cause that hit him and his musician collaborators right in the pocket. After over four decades in the music business, Hernandez has cut some 50 albums and has been involved in arranging session fees for many musicians, especially when running his own label, Buena Suerte. Payments might not have been up to scale, but the bandleader has more than cashed in as far as prizes being handed out. He has received a Grammy, the state of Texas Governor's Award for artistic excellence and has been won multiple honors from the Tejano Music Awards. He is featured in the documentary film Tex-Mex: Music of the Texas-Mexican Borderlands, but also has done a few acting jobs, including director Cesar Alejandro's gritty Down in the Barrio. In the late '90s, he began performing with the all-star band the Texas Tornados. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Tejano music por vida!
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Hi Abundio Urbina Jr. Viva la raza n tejano music BABY
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MY FAVORITE SONG
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Pure tejano my life for siempre
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Grew up listening to the Man the Legend since the sixty's still the baddest on the Planet Hank.
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Little Joe is the king of all music!!!
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My all time favorite song...takes me way back dancing to it,with my love one!!!
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I always get drink with his songs lol ...good time forever
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Simmer down hot sauce! Great music!
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Been listening to Lil Joe for many years, best brown sound ever!!!!
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good good memory
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were here in carson city nevada no tejano music or functions in our area miss califas for all that good music nothing like tejano keep on playing that funky music tajas.
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well here in Louisiana theres no hispanic music. thank God to Little joe y la familia and pandora.
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Amy from San Antonio porous west side little Joe brings back a lot of good memorys
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Yo tambien,Voy a Morirme de AMOR,Y ya le dije ha MIS hijas qbelbdia q yo muera toquen pura canciones tuyas,Qusier a q Te mandaran traer,Y depuea q me tiren MIS senisas en Temple Tejas Y el resto En La Isla del Padre.
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Would like to hear more Little Joe's music here in the state of Florida, love the Tejano music. Was born in Texas but raised in FL.
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Great song! It's that Esteban Jordan on the accordeon ?
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Little Joe is one of the best Tejano singer his awesome I love all his songs but ones of my favorites will always be Las Nubes when I die I want that one song repeated as my goodbye and other one i like is que
Leven cancion
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rosalindariv e r a 5 0 8
i remember when my marina and juanito used to dance to this music those were the best days of my life and i miss them so much i love lil joes music tex mex
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I'm out of music to purchase by you on ITunes need more........
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Is that Steve on the accordeon?
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edpineda86
Little joe just missed you at Cowboys for the xmas dance love your music brings good memories I have pics of you and Johnny very young with my tio the Rivera family from ft worth and cousins Mary y Chente de Crowley and my late cousin Louis pecina I would like to get with you to talk about the history edpin de San anto
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lisaroperez
Little Joe from big temple Texas. Good music. My brother in law played with you.
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Love this song. Reminds. Me when. I was. In montello wis. Back in the 70s. Just. Got out of the army. Met. Alot of nice people. From tex miss u all
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Very enjoyable musica. I love it. We do not hear enough of our music.thank you!
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Ok!!!
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Love listening to your music.
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Happy birthday brother
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lillyandbug
Love listening to your music you are the best.
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Lil' Joe-AWESOME!
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LAS NUBES MI PRIETITA at Pharr San Juan Alamo. 1973-1974 at the cafeteria during lunch. PURO OSOS
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aramirez355
WHERE CAN I buy ur music . please leave an address !!
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Little Joe what's up from fabens tx
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These comments are only dayz ago but are the still addressed with the same ��������
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Thank you for all those wonderful yrs.At the coliseaum in good old Lubbock Town Puros Flash Back one of your true fan AUGY G. BUENA SUERTE.
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Mini/ jenny/s.j. calif./ 1966 we will always love our beloved lil joe music! God bless u, for lifting our spirits!! # 1 fans , forever!!!
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Dont u no i still owe u. Cm hm and it dont need to get as dirty as the choice of life after 10:30 pm
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But don't we all know good things come to people who wait. Su Chiquita te espera.
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I'll follow Little Joe anywhere again bring it on Ezz chaparrita
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good good memoriesIII
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Viva!!!! Tejano Music for ever
Viva!!! Little Joe

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joe are the best lots of good memories
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being from san antonio texas we know what good tejano music is...little joe one of the best...mazz second all others behind
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This is true San Antonio party music. The tejano capital of the world..
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Viva Little Joe
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Little Joe Es Numero 1 in my book, & in the Familia Sierra's From Douglas, Arizona
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I still hate you..
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Brindis nadien como el para cantartela.. d o n d e ? ? Saludos...
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Poe un amor quedan tuertos y ma's feliz q nunca
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Hay ta LA novia..
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