Tejano R.O.O.T.S., Inc. is a non-profit organization chartered on June 9, 1999 in Alice, Tx. Its primary goal is to develop and establish The Tejano Music Hall of Fame Museum in Alice, Tx. The museum's purpose will be to preserve, maintain, promote, and display historical documents, artifacts, and audio & video recordings of the Tejano Music Industry and Heritage.
The acronym R.O.O.T.S. stands for Remembering Our Own Tejano Stars. TEJANO R.O.O.T.S. consists of a six member Board of Directors. Board members are: Javier Villanueva-President, Orlando Chapa-Vice-President, Juan Sifuentes, Jr.-Secretary, Joe Lozano-Director, Rito Silva-Director, and Serapio Serna-Director. A fifteen member Advisory Board also serves.
The organization is funded by membership packages which are available starting at $25.00. All money raised through memberships will go towards the development of The TEJANO HALL OF FAME MUSEUM in Alice. The group hopes to find a building soon where they can display their permanent exhibits. At the present time they are located at 60 S. Wright St. in Alice. Membership applications, which are tax deductible, can be picked up there or by calling 361-661-1111.
Why a Tejano Music Hall of Fame in Alice? What many people don't know is that Alice was the birthplace for recording Tejano music. In 1946 Armando Marroquín of Alice and Paco Betancourt of San Benito started the IDEAL Record Company in Alice, Tx. and recorded just about every major Tejano musician from San Antonio down to the Rio Grande Valley. For many of these musicians this was their beginnings and for others it was another outlet to produce their music. Legends; Lydia Mendoza, Chelo Silva, Narciso Martinez, Beto Villa, Carmen y Laura, Paulino Bernal, Isidro "El Indio" Lopez, Juan Lopez, and Tony de la Rosa amongst others all recorded here.
When I saw the exhibit "LOS TEJANOS-Sus Huellas En Esta Tierra" that San Diego native Lupita Barrera curated at the LBJ Library in Austin in 1997-98, the last part of the exhibit was a recording by Arholie Records of Tejano music from the past. It was of no surprise that half of the 24 songs were recorded by Conjunto Bernal, Tony De La Rosa, Carmen y Laura, Beto Villa, Juan Lopez, Isidro Lopez y Conjunto Ideal, and Wally Almendarez, all native musicians of Alice or within a 35 mile radius of Alice.
San Antonio has the annual Tejano Conjunto Festival every May where they elect past musicians to a Hall of Fame but to my knowledge there is no actual building or hall where any of their history is displayed. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
With Alice being known as the Hub of South Texas it is a logical strategic choice for a Tejano Hall of Fame to be located there. It is in the heart of South Texas with easy access from San Antonio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley. It would also be an asset to the City of Alice as a tourist attraction.
We wish the best to TEJANO R.O.O.T.S. in their endeavor to organize something that has long been overdue in South Texas.
This past New Year's Eve they hosted a dance by none other than 5 time Grammy award winner Leonardo "EL Flaco" Jimenez. Flaco had a commitment to open up for a national country star in Austin but he also sees the need for what TEJANO R.O.O.T.S. is doing and bypassed that performance to come down to Alice to contribute to this grassroots organization. Hopefully this will be the first of many other performances and other good things to come from Alice.