by Jonny Ramirez
posted Jan 23 2015 10:39AM
So it's rodeo time again and folks in Houston and San Antonio are left scratching their heads wondering why the music of first-, second- and third-generation Mexican Americans born in Texas (Tejanos) is not being represented. Simple answer: It's all about the numbers, specifically the revenue. And it seems that Tejanos will not support the music that is near and dear to our hearts. That music is more than just a catchy melody or a radio format, it's music that is part of our heritage, culture and tradition.
We'll pay $100 or more to see a George Strait concert or even country newcomer Jason Aldean, but will not pay $20 or $25 to see one of our "A" artists like Jay Perez, Intocable, David Lee Y Los Musicales, Elida Reyna or La Mafia. "I understand that putting on a good concert calls for professional-quality lighting and pyrotechnics, and none of that comes cheap. But have we really become such an apathetic society that we no longer care about the music that defines our cultura?"
Why is it that African-Americans come together on different issues that affect them, but we Tejanos do not even care about keeping our culture alive through the music that we grew up with? Really, have we gotten to the point where we are ok with our kids losing their cultural identity? It's true that cultures assimilate into their surroundings, but how is it that we've lost our souls -- our music -- along the way? Tejanos are part of a rich and diverse culture in this country (I would argue the most diverse culture), but there's room for us to appreciate all genres of music without forgetting about nuestra musica.
Year after year, you hear less of our music on the FM radio dial and as time goes on, you will see a slow but consistent eradication of the music that was common on Sunday mornings around the breakfast table or maybe at the Sunday afternoon Bar-b-que. It was at our first communion, at our quinceaneras, at our weddings, at the birth of our children, our divorces and even at our funerals. Now apparently our music is not good enough, not an economic advantage and not worth keeping on the FM dial. It's a signal that corporate broadcast is hearing loudly and clearly.
And what do we do? Nothing! Because apparently it is not important enough in our lives for us to come together and show a united front. A united front will let promoters, concert venues and radio stations (sponsors of the concerts) know that we will not put up with the destruction by omission of our culture, our heritage and our tradition. When will we stand together and demonstrate that we and our culture are not to be taken lightly? When are we going to wake up? And when we do, will it be too late?