Congressman Joaquin Castro eulogizes Tejano legend Johnny Canales in U.S. House

The San Antonio congressman praised the late TV host for his work elevating Latino musicians.

click to enlarge Johnny Canales' TV show started in Corpus Christi in the 1980s before being syndicated in San Antonio and other South Texas markets. - Facebook / El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales
Facebook / El Show de Johnny y Nora Canales
Johnny Canales' TV show started in Corpus Christi in the 1980s before being syndicated in San Antonio and other South Texas markets.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, on Friday delivered a remembrance of late South Texas TV host and Tejano music legend Johnny Canales on the floor of the U.S. House.

Canales, who died last week at 77, hosted The Johnny Canales Show, a long-running TV program known for breaking Tex-Mex musicians such as La Mafia, Jennifer Pena and Los Tigres del Norte to larger audiences. The Corpus Christi-based show, which eventually went into international syndication, was among the first to feature a performance by the late Tejano legend Selena.

"Johnny was a champion for civil rights, an advocate for veterans and a musician in his own right," Castro said during his eulogy for the TV personality, DJ and bandleader.

Castro, a former chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, spoke about the importance of Canales' show in winning exposure for Latino artists. The congressman is known for efforts to increase inclusion of Latin music in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry

"To his loyal fans, Johnny was best known for his catchphrase: 'You got it. Take it away!' — the words of encouragement he would share with all the performers who joined him on stage," Castro said. "Johnny, you will always be remembered, especially among your loyal fans in South Texas."

"Que descanse en paz, Johnny," the congressman concluded.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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