Georgetown guitarist inducted into Tejano Hall of Fame

GEORGETOWN, TX (KXAN) — Longtime guitarist Johnny Joe Leal said he was deeply moved by being inducted into the Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame just a few weeks ago.

The awards are selected and presented by the non-profit organization of the same name, which selects multiple musicians in multiple categories for the award.

The Hall of Fame name ROOTS stands for “Remembering Our Own Tejano Stars,” according to the organization’s listing on the Texas State Historical Society website.

Leal has said that his own musical roots began when he was 15 years old. He grew up in Houston and was sweeping kitchen floors for his mother when he was moved by the music playing in the house.

“Music was playing and she saw me and I used her as a guitar. So my birthday is in December and she bought me my first electric guitar. Fender, Leal said.

According to Leal, when he mastered the guitar, he and his friend, who took up the bass guitar, began to play with other musicians.

Eventually, Leal was approached to play in other bands, playing everything from Tejano to soul to R&B.

The guitarist said his prowess took him to the US, where he occasionally shared the stage with several big names.

Al Green, The Chi-Lites, Freda Payne. I can go on and on,” Leal said.

Preservation of the Tejano music genre is the aim of the award organization.

Although unrelated, the Tejano Texas Music Alliance has a similar goal of promoting the heritage of Tejano music.

President Thomas Medina said recognizing the contributions of musicians like Leal is important for the future of Tejano culture.

“This is our culture and we must preserve it for future generations. So that they know where they came from,” Medina said.

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