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    Rodriguez, Johnny (10th December 1951 - Present)

    The second youngest of ten children, born in Sabinal, Texas, Johnny Rodriguez was "discovered" in jail.  In his rabble-rousing youth, he was arrested for helping his friends steal and barbecue a goat.  To pass the time in the hoosegow, he would sing.  A Texas Ranger was so enamoured of his voice, he put him in touch with a promoter by the name of Happy Shahan, who hired him to be a stagecoach-riding, singing cowboy at an amusement park called The Alamo Village.  Bobby Bare and Tom T. Hall happened to be there and encouraged Johnny to move to Nashville.  He had $14 in his pocket when he got there.  He would soon have a string of 14 consecutive top ten hits.  Hall hired him to play lead guitar in his band, and a year later helped him land a record deal with Mercury.  It proved to be a lucrative arrangement for both parties as Johnny Rodriguez was a hit-making machine in the '70s.  His first single, "Pass Me By", charted as high as #9, while his debut album, Introducing Johnny Rodriguez, rocketed to #1.  In 1973, he was honoured with the Billboard Trendsetter Award for being the first Latin American country singer to capture the imagination of the national public.  Television offers followed, including a stint on the half-hour cop drama, Adam-12, and a guest appearance on The Dating Game.  In 1979, Rodriquez left Mercury for Epic Records.  It was a marriage of moderate hits that ended seven years later.  An even more abbreviated run with Capitol yielded less than stellar results.  By the 1990s, Rodriguez's recording career was running on fumes.  An incident in 1998 put his career woes into perspective when he was charged for the murder of one of his friends, whom he thought was a burglar.  A year later, a jury acquitted him, saying he acted in self-defense, as defined by Texas law.  In the last twenty-five years, Rodriguez has released twenty-six albums and charted forty-five times, and has toured extensively, including appearances in all fifty of the United States, and an international itinerary that includes Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Guam, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland.  He is scheduled to be inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame on 18th August 2007.


    Johnny Rodriguez recordings

    Release Me (Eddie Miller/W.S. Stevenson/Dub Williams/Robert Yount)

    Ridin' My Thumb To Mexico (Johnny Rodriguez)

    He's Not Entitled To Your Love (S. Davis/S. Hogan/B. Whitlock)

    It's Not The Same Old You (R. Kerr/T. Seals)



    1. http://www.johnnyrodriguezofficialfanclub.com/jrhtml.htm
    2. http://www.gatalent.com/Acts/Johnny_Rodriguez/johnny_rodriguez.html
    3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Rodriguez
    4. http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/rodriguez_johnny_1_/bio.jhtml


    Here he is singing a medley of songs...













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