Selena and The Tragic Texas Musician Tradition
It's hard to believe, but 24 years have passed, since Corpus Christi's most famous resident, Selena Quintanilla, was murdered by the head of her fan club.
The "Queen Of Tejano" had everything she had ever wanted, right at her fingertips. In an instant, it was gone. Unfortunately, she joined a sad Texas musician tradition, the early death.
Texas has given the world many of the popular and innovative recording artists and the list of those who died before their full potential is a long one.
Selena was 23 when she passed, and so was El Paso's Bobby Fuller. Lubbock's Buddy Holly was 22. Beaumont's Big Bopper was 28. Port Arthur's Janis Joplin was 27. Houston's Johnny Ace was 25. Stevie Ray Vaughan was 35.
Selena joins a short list of Texas artists who changed everything in their genre and left the rest of us what could have been. She certainly wasn't an overnight success. Her performing career began at age 9, and along with her brothers and sister, she hit the road, playing night after night.
Her first album was released in 1984 when she was 13. She could write songs, she could dance, she could sing, but she couldn't speak Spanish at first. Selena's first language was English and she had to sing her Spanish lyrics, phonetically, She would learn to speak in Spanish, in her late teens.
Recording of a full English album had begun, prior to her death, but only two songs had been completed. Buddy Holly's entire nationwide run lasted 18 months. Joplin only managed three albums. Bobby Fuller only had one. What was to be for these Texas artists, will never be known as they belong to history now.
Texas has contributed to every type of music one can imagine. Rock, Country, Jazz, Blues, and Tejano have all felt the influence of the Lone Star state.
Sometimes, the price for it was too high.