Gus “Mr. Music Man” Garza – My ultimate goal is to ensure The History of Tejano Music lives on through the current listener base and the new generations that are able to hear the “Bailando en Tejas” radio show. Allowing listeners to hear the story behind the music brings education and understanding way beyond the music. Having a platform that allows me to share intimate details of the many experiences and relationships I’ve had the opportunity to meet & witness. It is truly an honor to be able to share my love for Tejano Music through the “Bailando en Tejas” radio show.
The love for Chicano/Tejano music started in Beeville & Corpus Christi, TX where Gus was born and raised. Having a job and at the local Tejano club, fed his love for the “ La Onda Tejana ”. Moving to Houston in 1962 and landing a job at the Pan American Night Club.
At that time, the Pan American was the only club in Houston where Chicano/Tejano artists of the Tex-Mex Genre performed live in concert regularly. Ann Keherkher, owner of the Pan American, graciously accepted me into the club to work as band (M.C.- Master of Ceremonies and at the door. Maintaining my day job and working nights and weekends at the club, I was feeding my love of music. As singer for my brother-in-law’s band, the Eddie Torres Band, in 1956, I had the fortunate experience of traveling throughout Texas before settling in Houston. While with the band and upon leaving, I was able to meet big-name artists such as Balde Gonzalez, Beto Villa, Isidoro Lopez, Raph Galvan, Juan Colorado, and Wally Armendariz, just to name a few. As my passion grew and with the opportunity offered by the encouragement of General Manager of KLVL, Joe Morales, in 1968, I became the first bilingual radio disc jockey in Houston. Here was where my pen name, Mr. Music Man and “Bailando en Tejas” originated. With sponsorships of a few Tejano recording labels including: Capri Records (Dallas), Bernal Records (McAllen), Key-Loc (San Antonio), Buena Suerte (Temple), I worked at KLVL from 1968 to ’71, beginning with a one-hour show Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, where I played a variety of Tejano music. It was my first experience on radio and within two weeks more than 50 letters of congratulations for the show came in. During this time, Isidro Lopez and Chris Sandoval were at the height of their popularity in the Houston area. Little Joe and the Latinnaires and Sunny & The Sunliners were just entering into the scene. Following my time at the radio station, I worked evenings at the Pan America for several years. Through presenting the bands and later meeting with the members, I began working with La Mafia. In 1981, I was the Public Relations Representative for La Mafia. I traveled throughout Texas with the band, promoting, and presenting them at shows. I also worked a period as road manager for FAMA. Years passed and in the mid-90s, the opportunity was presented me to co-host, then host Bailando en Tejas at KPFT 90.1 FM. It was my experiences at KLVL, the friendships and relationships throughout the years, and the love for the music genre that encouraged me to go forward making it my own.