NewsLocal News


What is Tejano culture? (part 2)

Part 2 of the Tejano culture series
Posted at 6:19 AM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 12:53:45-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coastal Bend radio host Dan Pena has dedicated his career to playing Tejano music.

Pena said Tejano music started with instruments like the accordion and the bajo sexto. Over time musicians started adding drums and eventually the keyboard.

Pena said Tejano music is a blend of many genres. Including Spanish, Country and Pop.

"Adding synthesizers, the organs, the big bands,” said Pena, the Program Director for KSAB, KUNO.

"You put all that together and that's what you wind up with Tejano Music,” said Pena.

Pena said he met Selena when she was around 13 year old while he was working at a club in Alice where she would perform.

"Selena to me meant that is what you really called Tejano music." said Pena. "When she was around that is when Tejano music really exploded into the music scene.”

Along with the music, Pena said Tejano culture also encompasses family and food.

Pena said Hi-Ho is a well-known restaurant in the Coastal Bend that's been around for more than 40 years. As soon as you walk in along the walls you will see signed photos of Tejano musicians who have visited the restaurant.

"There's been a lot of Tejano legends that have eaten here." said Rick Garcia Owner of Hi-Ho restaurant. "And they say they like the tortillas. We make them homemade everyday and I have a secret recipe."

Garcia said besides their famous homemade tortillas, other popular items on the menu include menudo and home-cooked cheese or beef enchiladas.

Garcia said Selena loved to eat at Hi-Ho and to this day her family still eats there. But, Garcia said whats really important is how the restaurant embodies the family atmosphere.

He said customers will bring their kids in and then it becomes a family tradition to visit the well known Tejano restaurant.

To watch the first report of the Tejano culture here.

For more about the Dan Pena radio show, click here.

And if you would like to visit Hi-Ho restaurant you can visit the website here.