Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

(b Juan Raoul Rodríguez, 10 December 1951, Sabinal TX) Successful Chicano country singer and songwriter; sang in English and Spanish with several hits '70s-80s. He formed a rock'n'roll band in his early teens; trouble with the law led to time spent in the local jail; singing in his cell impressed a Texas Ranger who linked him with local promoter Happy Shahan resulting in a job at Shahan's Alamo Village amusement park driving stagecoaches, riding horses and singing. Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare heard him and suggested a move to Nashville. He joined Hall's band '71, landed a Mercury contract '72, his first single 'Pass Me By' hit the country top ten followed by six country no. ones and more than 20 top ten hits, including 'Ridin' My Thumb To Mexico', 'That's The Way Love Goes', 'Just Get Up And Close The Door', 'Desperado', 'If Practice Makes Perfect', etc. Also appeared in movies Rio Diablo and TV series Adam-12; changed labels to Epic '79, where producer Billy Sherrill smoothed out his natural honky-tonk styling, but his records left the top ten, and he had marriage and drug-related problems. He moved to Capitol '87 but a slight upturn in career was short-lived; he moved on to Branson Entertainment with Run For The Border '93, then returned to a more rootsy sound on critically acclaimed You Can Say That Again '96 for West Coast-based Hightone with inspired song choice (later on Rhino CD). Other albums included Introducing '72, All I Ever Meant To Do Was Sing '73, My Third Album '74, Songs About Ladies In Love '74, Love Put A Song In My Heart '75, Reflecting '76, Just For You '77, Rodríguez Was Here '79, Sketches '79 all on Mercury; Through My Eyes '80, After The Rain '81, For Every Rose '83, Fooling With Fire '84, Full Circle '86 all on Epic; Gracias '88 on Capitol.