This Week in Texas Music History: Bruno Villareal
This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll meet a wandering performer who left a lasting mark on Texas music.
On June 12, 1930, South Texas accordionist Bruno Villareal made the first known conjunto recordings on a major label, Okeh Records. Villareal was partially blind and worked as a street musician, traveling from the Rio Grande Valley up as far north as Amarillo. Along with pioneering accordion players Narcíso Martínez and Santiago Jiménez, Sr., Bruno Villareal blended Texas-Mexican folk music with German and Czech accordion polkas to help forge the modern conjunto sound.
By helping introduce conjunto to a broader regional audience, Bruno Villareal ensured that this unique style of Texas-Mexican music would remain widely popular today.
Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a Dallas recording session that some believe involved a deal with the devil.