Lack of Tejano music spurs protest

March 10, 2008 3:30:28 AM PDT
Some people claim there is not enough Tejano music at the Houston rodeo's Go Tejano Day. Now one Hispanic group said this is a much bigger issue than just music.

Rodeo officials say Tejano music's popularity is waning but supporters say it still deserves center stage.

"This is who we are, it's our tradition," said musician Little Joe.

He's talking about Tejano music. Long the star of Tejano Day at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, there will be no acts on the main stage this year.

"There seems to have been a concerted effort or inadvertent effort to eliminate Tejano music," said former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos. "It behooves us to study it and what's going on."

Officials say the decision was based on what acts ticket buyers want to see.

"Last year, only 3% of people who came to our show said it was because of the Tejano star," said Leroy Shafer who is the COO, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. "You'll see the much higher percentages were for the Nortegno star we had on there last year. The greatest percentage was just because it was my day."

We asked people who attend Go Tejano Day their thoughts on the lack of Tejano music on the main stage.

"It's fading away more and more," said Solomon Gonzalez who attends the rodeo. "Because there hasn't been no really Tejano artist that's out there that's brought Latinos into the music again. It's dying."

Those protesting say the issue is bigger than Tejano music. The group that includes state and city leaders, radio execs and Tejano stars wants want more scholarships given to Hispanic students and more Hispanics at the rodeo's executive level.

To prove they mean business.

"We request our friends across the whole great state of Texas not to attend the Houston livestock show, period," said Barrientos.

We want to point out there will be some Tejano musical acts on Go Tejano Day, they just won't be performing on the main stage.

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