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This Week in Texas Music History: Mingo Saldivar

by Stephen Becker 28 May 2010 1:20 PM

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor a musician who is known by many as “the dancing cowboy.”


Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman honors a musician who is known by many as “the dancing cowboy.”

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.

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Domingo “Mingo” Saldivar was born May 29, 1936, in Marion, Texas. He learned to play accordion as a teenager and soon began performing with local conjunto bands.  During the 1950s and 1960s, he played in such popular bands as Los Guadalupanos and Los Caminantes. Saldivar was a pioneer in blending traditional conjunto with country music. Writing and singing in both English and Spanish, he composed such bilingual songs as “Rueda de Fuego,” based on the Johnny Cash hit “Ring of Fire.” Well known for his energetic stage performances and his blending of conjunto and country music, Saldivar earned the nickname “the dancing cowboy,” performing in clubs and dance halls throughout North America.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll remember a pioneering musician who helped open doors for other female artists in country music.