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Tejano musician Ruben Ramos meets with fans

By JR Ortega
March 4, 2011 at 8:04 p.m.
Updated March 3, 2011 at 9:04 p.m.

Ruben Ramos draws the name of the winner of a free ticket to the Ramos Family Reunion concert Friday while signing autographs at T-Town Music.

What's behind RAMOS' music Born in Sugar Land

Ruben Perez Ramos sits at the helm of a family musical legacy born over 80 years ago.

This legacy is set with traditional Mexican roots and is infused with the big-band sound of the 1940s

Heavily influenced by blues and rock, his music is now perched at the pinnacle of La Onda style Tejano.

Source: www.rubenramos.com

Someone in the small crowd bolted out a shrill "ah, ha, ha, hi!"

The grito, or yell, was a devoted fan's call that Ruben Ramos was back in town.

The Grammy award winning Tejano musician frequented Victoria in the 1960s.

"We're always anxious to come back to Victoria," said Ramos, as he signed autographs at T-Town Music store before his two-set performance at Club Westerner Friday night.

Ramos, 71, won a Grammy in 1999 with Los Super Seven, a group he was a part of with six other well-known musicians in the Tejano industry.

He took home another Grammy in 2009 with Ruben Ramos and the Mexican Revolution.

Now that group was performing live in Victoria.

"He was a cotton picker and so was I," said Lynn Shaffer, who has listened to Ramos' music since the 1970s.

His blend of music holds a special meaning in her heart.

Ralph Gonzales understood that feeling.

Gonzales, the owner of the music store that hosted the autograph session, has been passionate about Spanish music all his life.

His shop may be cramped and small, but its followers and his heart are big.

"I've always been a fan," Gonzales said as he looked around at his collection of music.

Gonzales has been asked before if Tejano is dying and his answer, without hesitation, is "no."

"There's a lot of genres, which kind of dilutes what you think Tejano is," he said. "It's hard to quantify that there is just one Tejano. That kind of takes away from the, 'well, Tejano is slow, it's dead.' No, it's more diversified."

About 300 people were expected to attend Ramos' concert.

But in the 60s, Ramos would play alongside his brother, Alfonso, who was also at the signing.

At the time, the band was the Alfonso Ramos Orchestra.

This time around, he brought his brother Alfonso and sister Inez for somewhat of a Ramos family reunion.

"I wouldn't come back if Victoria was not supportive of me," Ramos said. "The fans, they're always there."

Ramos is a reminder of all the greats in the different Tejano genres, Gonzales said.

From the Tejano orchestra to the Tejano Norteños, the genres are many, rather than few.

Ramos fits under the traditional Tejano genre with other well-knowns, like Grupo Maz and Little Joe y la Familia, Gonzales said.

"I think Tejano is stronger than ever," he said. "It's just more styles are out there."

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