Johnny Rodriguez. If you’re a die-hard fan of 1970s country music, you should know the name and hits, and don’t need to sell the man’s importance. Johnny Rodriguez had six number 1s, 14 top 5s and 20 top 10s, including 15 top 10s to launch his career between 1973 and 1978. , who helped define country music more than anyone in the last decade and went on to create hits. Even in the 80’s.
In a fair world, Johnny Rodriguez would be a name in the discussion of the Country Music Hall of Fame, at least at this point. Considering the way it was wiped out, some might be surprised to hear that Johnny Rodriguez is still alive. Oh, he definitely is, and at 71, people are finally stepping up to honor this country music hitmaker and pioneer.
Dale Watson and Celine Lee return to the American Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee on Feb. 19 after years of hiatus due to the pandemic. Johnny Rodriguez at the organization’s 2023 Masters Awards Honorees and previous winners Ray Price, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Pryde, Wanda Jackson, Billie Joe Shaver, James Burton, Johnny Bush, WS Holland, Jr. Brown, followed by Red Simpson. It’s like the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Also on the weekend are the Adams Brothers and Founder of the Sound Awards, while rockabilly legend Nick Curran receives the Keeper of the Key Award on the 10th anniversary of his death. These awards are Various American Award Categories Decided by fan votes.
Born in Sabinal, Texas, Johnny Rodriguez grew up as a good kid, being a church altar boy and captain of his middle school football team. But when his father died of cancer when he was 16, and his brother died in a car accident the following year, his broken heart swelled with problems with the law and his taste in country music. Connected.
Johnny Rodriguez has never done anything wrong, at least early on. Legend has it that in 1969, when he was 18, Rodriguez was imprisoned after stealing a goat and having a barbecue with his friends. Others say he landed on Porky simply because of an unpaid fine.In any case, famous Texas his ranger Joaquin Jackson slammed Rodriguez’s gun while he was spending time singing in his cell. I heard a voice and told music promoter ‘Happy’ Shahan about him.
“Happy” Shahan hired Rodriguez to sing at the Alamo Village attraction, the setting for the 1960 John Wayne film. Alamo was being filmed. In 1971, Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bear were passing through town when, like everyone else, Johnny’s voice overwhelmed them and told them to move to Nashville. Johnny complied and he showed up in Music City at the age of 21 with nothing but a guitar and $14. Less than a year later, Rodriguez was signed to record Mercury songs.
After his first Top 10 hit with “Pass Me By (If You’re Only Passing Through)”, Rodriguez followed it up with “You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me)” and “Ridin’ My Thumb to Mexico”. and won 1st place. and “That’s the way love goes”. Johnny Rodriguez became country music’s first major Hispanic star, Freddie He Fender and Linda He helped open the door for Ronstadt, sometimes singing songs and phrases in Spanish, creating crossovers for Hispanic listeners. It made him a star and made Hispanic listeners fans of country music. In 1973, Johnny Rodriguez was nominated for CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year.
In addition to minting country hits with rock songs like The Beatles’ “Something” and The Eagles’ “Desperado,” Johnny Rodriguez wrote his own big hits like “Ridin’ My Thumb to Mexico” and “You Always Come Back.” I have written. (To Hurting Me)” earned him the respect of his peers and other songwriters. Johnny’s affiliation with Bobby Bear and the fact that he was from Texas led some to consider him part of the Outlaw movement of his time.
In 1979, Rodriguez signed with Epic Records and worked with famed producer Billy Sherrill. Though her hits didn’t come easily, Rodriguez has enjoyed occasional fame, including her two top 10 hits in 1983 with “Foolin'” and “How Could I Love Her So Much.” obtained. Johnny Rodriguez’s commercial days ended in 1988 when he shot and killed a man he thought was a thief in his home. Bush) and was publicly exonerated.
Since then, Johnny Rodriguez has continued to perform, tour, and occasionally record music. In December, he was in the studio recording his next project, which includes a duet with Dennis Quaid and Tanya Tucker. But considering that Johnny Rodriguez has been out of the spotlight since his heyday in the ’70s and ’80s, you wouldn’t know that Johnny Rodriguez still existed.
Rodriguez remained a hero in Texas. He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in his 2007. In 2010, he received the Pioneer Award from the Hispanic Cultural Institute in Houston. And in November 2022, he will be inducted into the All Cowboy and Arena Champions Hall of Fame in Carville, Texas.
But while Johnny Rodriguez still walks among us, it’s time the broader country music community began to recognize Johnny Rodriguez’s contributions. Good for the American award for doing so. And for those who believe he deserves, campaign in progress To induct Johnny Rodriguez into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Tickets and passes for the 2023 American Awards and Weekender are available at buy here.