The Austin Tejano Music Coalition was created 2006 and in acknowledgement of our 10th year anniversary; A commemorative and astonishing accomplishment and milestone. It would not be possible without the leadership, dedication and inspiring work by our Presidents. We feel we must take a moment to recognize these Tejano Music Trailblazers: Our past presidents.
The Austin Tejano Music Coalition would not be what we are Today, without you. Thank You and much appreciation.
I had just retired from the Postal Service and I happen to be at Joe’s Bakery, one of my favorite Eateries in Austin, and I see a long time friend Johnny Degollado and he invites me to sit at his table with some other musicians.
Johnny asked what I was going to be doing that evening, because he would like for me to come to a meeting that was being held at Michael Borrero’s club.
I went that evening and there were maybe 30 people in attendance. Business owners, Bands and band leaders, many of my friends from my musician days on the road.
There were people like Ruben Ramos of the Mexican Revolution, Julian Fernandez of the Texas Wranglers, Martha and Paco Rodriguez of Los A.T. BOYZ, Tony “Ham” Guerrero of Tortilla Factory, Tony Tafoya, Liz Hernandez, Big Frank Gomez, Rosendo “Ross” Gomez, Hector Reyes, Johnny Degollado, Chris Tristan,Michael Borrero, my self and Last But Not Least, Marcelo Tafoya and Senator Gonzalo and his staff and quite a few that I fail to recall at this time
The meeting was organized because of the TOTAL Removal of Tejano music programming from all of the 6 Spanish Language radio stations owned primarily by Univision, and Border Media (Now out of business). It was like we (Chicano’s, Tejano’s, Mexican American, Americano) or what every we wanted to call ourselves were no longer here. Like we had left town. All spanish language programming was directed to the immigrant community and their culture. Ours was no where to be found in any type of media except for Community Newspapers and Community Television and Isidoro Lopez on KOOP-FM (one hour per week)
It was determined at that initial meetings that our goal would be Get Tejano Music and Culture back on the air.
Senator Barrientos suggested that we organize as a group because numbers count. We all decided to name the organization the Austin Tejano Music Coalition (ATMC). Then Senator Barrientos suggested that we elect officers and He nominated me to be President, Liz Hernandez (Vice President), Mary Ann Gomez (Secretary), Ross Gomez (Treasurer). We were all elected that evening.
Luckily that I had just retired and had time to take on the task.
Being President if a very demanding job. At that time we were attempting to educate the population on what had happened. The difference in Latino and Hispanic and Tejano to Introduce ourselves to the movers and shakers of the radio community. The Statesman caught on to what was happening and did a few stories on the ATMC.
We had conferences at the State Capital with the Head of Austin operations of Border Media, Press Conference’s. The reason that Border Media was first was because they Owned 5. Playing the same thing Banda, Regeton and other foreign music to the majority of the population. Tejano artists’ music would not and is still Not being programed on any of the stations. They would not be persuaded. A Picket was held at the Border Media Studio’s, Senator Barrientos and Paco, Martha Rodriguez were some of the people there.
We put together some fundraisers to inform the people why and what happened to Tejano Music. The bands donated their talent. Bands like Ruben Ramos and the Mexican Revolution, Joe Bravo, Little Joe y La Familia, Los A.T. Boyz, Los Texas Wranglers, Yayo Castillo and Rumores, and many more musical acts helped out all the time.
Then we were able to meet with the Management of Univision and they offered 10:00pm, Sunday evening till MidNight. Two Hours, and they said they could’t sell the program, that didn’t work .
I had several meetings with EMMIS Radio and all the others.
Finally I approached Joe Garcia, Owner of Encino Broadcasting (KOKE-AM,
KTXZ-AM). I’ve known Joe for many years our Dads were friends. We had about 10 meetings then he agreed to try it. All this was daily meetings, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, All this took approx. 3 years.
I felt that we had accomplished what our goal was at the time: TO GET TEJANO MUSIC BACK ON THE AIRWAVES.
I had promised my wife that as soon as we got a radio station on board I would step down. It might take 10 years but I would not give up on our struggle. It took 3 Years.