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This Week in Texas Music History: Roy Montelongo

by Stephen Becker 23 Mar 2012 1:30 PM

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a musician whose legacy quite literally helped leave a trail for others to follow.


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 recalls a special evening when the “Boss” showed up early for work.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Sunday at precisely 6:04 p.m. 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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On March 19, 2004, the Tejano Artist Music Museum honored Roy Montelongo with its Pioneer Award. Montelongo was born Sept. 21, 1938, in Hays County, just south of Austin. At age 15, he followed in his father’s footsteps by joining Beto Villa’s band as a saxophonist. Montelongo also played with Isidro López and Alfonso Ramos before striking out on his own in 1964. As a singer and saxophonist, Montelongo appeared regularly on radio and recorded more than 20 albums during his career.

In 1991, Roy Montelongo was inducted into the Tejano Music Hall of Fame. More recently, the Austin Latino Music Association commemorated this pioneering artist with the “Roy Montelongo Scenic Overlook” on its Trail of Tejano Legends.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a singing schoolteacher whose hit song landed him in the national spotlight.