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Great American Talent
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Johnny Rodriguez

Almost twenty five years after he first arrived in Nashville, Johnny Rodriguez is right back where he started coming full circle back to making the kind of honest country music that he and his fans always enjoyed.

Born December 10, 1951, Johnny Rodriguez was the second youngest of 10 children living in a four room house in Sabinal, Texas, a small town about 90 miles from the Mexican border.

Growing up in Sabinal, Johnny was an A/B student, captain of his Junior High School Football team, a high school letterman and an altar boy at church. But it wasn't all innocent. In 1969, caught with friends stealing and barbequing a goat, Rodriguez took the rap. It was this jail visit that gave Johnny his first break.

His jailhouse singing enthralled Texas Ranger, Joaquin Jackson, who told a promoter about Rodriguez. The promoter, Happy Shahan hired Johnny to perform at the Alamo Village, a popular south Texas tourist attraction and location of many well know movie sets. It was here that Johnny was heard by Nashville artists Tom T. Hall and Boboy Bare who both encouraged Johnny to fly to Nashville in 1971. 20-year old Rodriguez found himself stepping off the plane with nothing more than his guitar in hand and $14 in his pocket. Soon he was fronting Tom T. Hall's Band and writing songs.

Less than year later, Hall took Johnny over to the office of Roy Deá and Jerry Kennedy, then record producers of Mercury's Nashville operation, for an in person audition. Deá offered a contract on the spot after hearing Rodriguez's "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "If I'd Left It Up To You."

There were 15 number one singles that followed. The first of the singles to reach number one was "Pass Me By". The song raced through the country charts and put Johnny in the fast lane of the country music world. His next single, "You Always Come Back To Hurting Me"  didn't stop until it hit the top the first of 11 consecutive #1 records, some of which he wrote or co-wrote.

His debut album, Introducing Johnny Rodriguez, went to #1 on all three major trade charts and by 1973 he was nominated by the country music association for "Male Vocalist of the Year" and won the Billboard Trendsetter Award for first Mexican-American to capture a national audience.  Some of Johnny's classic hits during this period inciuded "Pass Me By," "You Always Come Back (To Hunting Me)," "Riding My Thumb To Mexico," "That's The Way Love Goes" and "Just Get Up And Close The Door."

In addition to the hits came the industry accoade awards, and television film roles including a role on the TV show "Adam 12" and a guest appearance on "The Dating Game." Since 1974, when Rodriguez made his debut as a TV actor, he has been a favorite on national talk shows and performance format shows. His emphasis, however, was still music; country music.

In 1979, Johnny moved from Mercury to Epic Records, where he worked with producer Billy Sherrill. His debut album with Epic, "Rodriguez", contained with one exception. songs written by Johnny. His successes included: "What'll I  I Tell Virginia", "Love Look At Us Now", North Of The Border", "Foolin", "How Could I Love Her So Much", and "Rose Of My Heart."

The union of producer Tom Collins and Capitol Records in 1987 resulted in Rodriguez' album titled "Gracias", which contained such hits as "Didn't (Every Chance I Had)", "I Want To Wake Up With You" and  "You Might Want To Use Me Again."

In 1993, Johnny recorded "Run For The Border" on Intersound and in 1996 he reunited with the Dea/Kennedy team to truly capture the fire and magic of their past collaborations with the creation of "You Can Say That Again."

In the past 25 years, Johnny has released 26 albums and charted 45 singles. He has beat the pavement touring in every state in the U.S. and enjoys an enormous response when touring overseas in countries such as Switzerland, England, S. Korea, France, Spain, East & West Germany, Japan, Belguim, Guam, Poland, Canada and Mexico.

This favored son of Texas has received standing ovations by audiences ranging from Ryman Auditorium to Carnagie Hall. He has been honored with the presence of Presidents of the United States including Jimmy Carter and playing the Inaugural Ball for George Bush.

Rodriguez has been high-lighted for his contributions and place in music's traditions and history. This artist brings the Hispanic communities and country music together with his bilingual songs.

Through the years, Rodriguez has risen from the poverty of Sabinal to the top of the country music world. He has crammed more living into those "wonder years" than most people see in a lifetime. With the love and support of his fans as well as some legendary names in entertainment world, he has sustained. The hardships that Johnny Rodriguez has experienced throughout his long and lucrative career are reflected in the no nonsense strength of his vocal style, which we are sure to enjoy for many years ahead.


Most Promising Male Vocalist -- Academy of Country Music 1972

New Male Vocalist -- Cash Box Awards 1973

Most Promising Male -- Music City News 1973

New Male Vocalist -- Cash Box Awards 1973

Up Coming Male -- Cash Box Awards 1973

Promising Male Vocalist -- Record Review 1973

Promising Male Vocalist -- Record Review 1973

Most Promising Male Vocalist -- Music City News 1973

Country Music Hall of Fame Walkway of the Stars 1974

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