Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

Falcon Record Collection



Collection Summary

Creator Arnaldo Ramirez and the Falcon Record Company
Title: Falcon Record Collection
Dates: 1918-1993
Abstract: Arnaldo Ramirez was a South Texan who devoted his life to building Falcon Records to record Spanish language music, especially conjunto music. The Record company, and the radio shows he hosted preceded and contributed to the rise and acceptance of the now popular Tejano music
Identification A1986-053; A1994-019
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/collections/ead.php?xml=Falcon%20EAD
Quantity: 10 linear feet
Location: STAD Box 600-607, 1250,1251
Language: Spanish

Historical Note

Arnaldo Ramirez, 1918-1993, was born and raised in the segregated Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Living in the “Mexican” district of Mission, Texas, his family was relatively prosperous until his father’s death. Then young Ramirez began to work. His parents valued education, however, and thus Ramirez was able to finish high school and attend Edinburgh (Texas) Junior College. When he was not working to help support the family, he visited the local movie theater used for weddings, quinceneras and other special occasion and became fascinated by the world of entertainers. He organized, presented and served as Master of Ceremony for talent shows at the segregated Mexican theater. He was fluent in both English and Spanish, and worked to improve his language skills in both languages by spending hours listening to radio shows in Spanish and English. By the early 1940s Ramirez had expanded his career aspirations and was working part time as a furniture salesman, and full time as a radio announcer for a radio in Harlingen, Texas. The time at the radio station served as an avenue for meeting and befriending Mexican, and Mexican-American recording artists, and his shows were broadcast in both English and Spanish. With the money he earned as a salesman he invested in purchasing broadcast hours at radio stations in McAllen and Reynosa and continued to play Spanish language music. He would subcontract radio hours to other disc jockeys that would sell advertisement to pay for programming. The profits from these business ventures provided funding to open a recording studio, Falcon Records, which produced Spanish language and Tex-Mex music, especially the new conjunto style music. His keen mind and quick understanding of what people wanted to hear led him to find new talent including such talents as Tomas Ortiz and Eugenio Abrego who formed the group Los Alegres de Teran. Los Alegres, originally from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, was a conjunto group that featured a vocal duet and became Falcon Records greatest contribution to Tejano Music. Ramirez recognized the uniqueness of conjuncto music and sought other talents to continue recording this style of music. He encouraged the talent of Pedro Ayala, known as El Monarco de la Acordeon, who recorded with such greats as Tony de la Rosa and Valerio Longoria. With the successful launching of new and innovative music Ramirez traveled often to push for more acceptance of the unique conjunto or conjunto/orquesta sounds. By the 1950s Ramirez’s business was prosperous and successful in South Texas. But, he did not have the experience of the legal aspects of copyright law and found to his dismay that he infringed on the copyright of artists working for some of the large recording companies. After studying his violations, and copyright law in general, he established RAMMS Publishing which became the first in-house publishing company in the United States and created Fanfarria Falcon, a Spanish-language musical show later renamed Super Fanfarria and seen throughout the United States and in Latin America. This show, which was syndicated, ran national wide from 1964 to 1981 on 214 Spanish-language stations from Utah to South Texas. Ramirez served as the show’s producer and host and featured such top artists as Freddy Fender, Pedro Ayala, Valerio Longoria, Narciso Martinez, Cornelio Reyna, Chelo Silva, Los Alegres de Teran and others. But, by the 1960s the recording business was not doing well economically and the Ramirez family sold Falcon Records to the California based CENTRON. CENTRON was not able to successfully market the Falcon music and ultimately the company was returned to the Ramirez family, which expanded to include offices in Los Angeles and Chicago and a warehouse in San Antonio. Ramirez again sought new talent and found Roberto Pulido, who it turned out was the last of his successes. In 1993 Arnaldo Ramirez suffered a stroke and died, leaving behind four decades of publishing Mexcan-American (Tejano) music just as it was becoming mainstream American music. Arnaldo Ramirez was a pioneer in publishing Tejano music, but, he was also a civic minded citizen who was honored for his many years of service to his community. He served as mayor of Mission, Texas from 1973 to 1981, after serving as a council man from 1969 to 1973. He was named Mayor Emeritus after he left office. At a reception honoring him as he stepped down from being Mayor it was noted that he had served as official interpreter for numerous meetings between meetings of Mexican governors and then Texas governor, William Clements. A loyal Democrat, Ramirez decided to work with Republican governor Clements to improve the circumstances of South Texas. Ramirez also served on several city boards including the Mission International Bridge Committee. He was named Mission’s Man of the Year in 1981, and was the first to be named Mr. Mission for his outstanding service to the community. He served two terms as chairman of the Texas Good Neighbor Council. He was honored by both the state of Texas and Tamulipas (Mexico) for his service and friendship as a good will ambassador.


Scope and Contents

The Falcon Record collection consists of record albums, original art work for the covers of many of the albums, photographs, and some biographical information about the creator Arnaldo Ramirez.


 

Arrangement

The Falcon Record Collection is divided into of five series: Series I: Biograhical Information Series II: Record Albums Series III: Art Work Series IV: Photographs

Index Terms

Persons
Ramirez, Arnaldo, 1918-1993
Fender, Freddy, 1937-2006
Ayala, Pedro
Longoria, Valerio, 1924-2000
Martinez, Narciso, 1911-1992
Reyna, Cornelio, 1940-1997
Silva, Chelo
Ortiz, Tomas
Abrego, Eugenio
Ayala, Pedro (El Monarco de la Acordeon), 1911-1990
Organizations
Falcon Records
RAMMS Publishing
Fanfarria Falcon
Super Fanfarria
CENTRON
Geographical Names
Mission (Tex.)
Edinburgh (Tex.)
Harlingen (Tex.)
McAllen (Tex.)
Reynosa
South Texas
Nuevo Leon (Mex.)
Tamulipas (Mex.)
Subjects
Conjunto Style
Tejano Music
Polka
Mariachi