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This Week in Texas Music History: Vicente Fernández

by Stephen Becker 18 Feb 2011 1:51 PM

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll honor a singer who refused to perform for peanuts.


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 singer who refused to perform for peanuts.

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 KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.

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Vicente Fernández was born on Feb. 17, 1940, in Jalisco, Mexico. As a child, he became popular in his hometown singing at weddings and in local restaurants. However, when he traveled to Mexico City in 1965 to audition for several national record labels, he was turned down and told that he’d be better off selling peanuts on the street corner. Undaunted, Fernandez persevered and eventually landed a recording contract. In 1976, he recorded what would become one of the biggest Spanish-language hits of all time, “Volver, Volver.” Vicente Fernández became a star throughout  Mexico and the American Southwest, and he has been a major influence on countless Hispanic artists in Texas.