Saturday, July 05, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Johnny Rodriguez

Artist:Johnny Rodriguez
Song:You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me)
Album:Introducing Johnny Rodriquez/All I Ever Meant To Do Was Sing

Johnny Rodriguez was probably the first Latino country music star in the 70s. He was also one of the youngest. You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me) was the first of his six number one country hits in 1973. He was born Dec. 10, 1951 in Sabinal, TX which is near the Mexico border. Rodriguez grew up singing in church and was captain of his high school football team. After his father died of cancer and then his older brother Andres died in a car accident, Rodriguez got into trouble and landed in jail in 1969 for an unpaid fine. He sang while in his cell and Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson told local promoter Happy Shahan about him. Rodriguez was hired to perform at the local tourist attraction Alamo Village. He was spotted by Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare and they brought him to Nashville. Rodriguez toured with Hall's band for a couple of years and they started writing together. Hall got Rodriguez a record deal at Mercury Records and Rodriguez recorded his 1973 debut album Introducing Johnny Rodriguez with veteran producer Jerry Kennedy. Rodriguez and Hall wrote several songs together for the album including You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me). Rodriguez was not only the first Latino to top the country charts but at the time he was the youngest male artist to top the country charts. That's a record that stood until it was eclipsed by Hunter Hayes in 2012. Rodriguez had six number one country hits. But he faded by the late 70s and left Mercury for Epic in 1979. He didn't have the same success at Epic and after a 1986 album for Capitol, he recorded for smaller labels. Normally I would recommend a Johnny Rodriguez comp CD but the Mercury released comps are all less than a half hour long. And Rodriguez has re-recorded his hits for labels like K-Tel so you don't want that. So I suggest this twofer of Rodriguez' first two albums from the British reissue label Hux Records. Johnny Rodriguez still tours and released the CD Live From Texas in 2012. But obviously he's now a nostalgia act. Here's Johnny Rodriguez with Tom T. Hall performing You Always Come Back (To Hurting Me) on Pop Goes the Country 1979.

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