Selena Quintanilla Pérez was known by many as the Queen of Tex-Mex music. Even now, 28 years after her senseless and tragic death, she is still loved, remembered and revered. Her voice, her dancing, her stylish fashion sense will always be unique and a signature to her. March 31, 1995 is a date that the many fans of Selena will never forget. She was a singer, fashion designer, wife, sister, and daughter.
As the voice of Selena Y Los Dinos, Selena was in the spotlight from a young age. Joined by her sister Suzette on drums and brother A.B. on bass guitar, the group would expand to include her future husband Chris Perez as lead guitarist, as well as keyboardists Ricky Vela and Joe Ojeda, and vocalist Pete Astudillo. [Note: there were other musicians and vocalists who performed with the band, but the names mentioned were the more known mainstays.]
Selena’s early fame came in the genre of Tejano music. Also known as Tex-Mex, Tejano music is a fusion of sounds combining the traditional music from Mexico with popular sounds from the US. ‘Tejano’ is the Spanish word for ‘Texan’. She would also become popular in the Cumbia genre of music. Originally from Colombia, Mexico would establish its own subgenre of Cumbia music known as Cumbia Sonidera.
It was a dream of Selena’s to record an English crossover album. She was close to achieving this particular dream. Work on the English album was underway and songs had been recorded. Four months after her passing, Selena’s crossover album, Dreaming of You, was released. Remixed versions of some of her Spanish songs were added to help complete the album.
Selena Quintanilla Peréz was shot in the back by Yolanda Saldívar, the President of her fan club, and someone that Selena considered a friend. It was discovered that Saldívar had been stealing money from both the fan club and some of Selena’s fashion boutiques. The shooting took place at the Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Saldívar had a room. Selena was 23 years old when she died, just weeks away from her 24th birthday.
Some of Selena’s more popular and well-known songs include Como La Flor, Amor Prohibido, Baila Esta Cumbia, Besitos, No Me Pidas Mas, El Chico del Apartamento 512, Techno Cumbia, Dreaming of You (from her English album), I Could Fall In Love With You (also from her English album), and there are many more that could be named. In wanting to share a live performance of Selena’s, I picked the song that first made this writer a fan, La Carcacha. Loosely translated, Carcacha is a beat up old car, a jalopy, a ‘runner’ as some would call it. The song is a lighthearted and comical take about a young woman who loves her boyfriend so much (because he’s loving and treats her well), that she’s willing to endure the constant ridicule from her friends about the ‘old clunker’ that he drives.
The concert below was one of Selena’s final concerts and it has also become one of her more popular (recorded) concerts. It was recorded on February 26, 1995, at the Houston Astrodome and was televised live.
[Featured Image Source: facebook.com/selenalaleyenda]