Johnny Rodriguez collection a nation music precedent when he came to be the first Mexican-American come garner a #1 document on the Billboard charts. Born December 10, 1951, Rodriguez thrived up in Sabinal, Texas, about 90 mile from the mexican border. Johnny was the alongside youngest that ten youngsters in the family, living in a four-room shack, and his farming years to be split in between the violent street life of the Chicano neighborhood and also the middle-American standards set in the white college system.

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Chameleon-like, Rodriguez functioned well in both environments. He got A’s and B’s in school and served together captain the his high college football team. Unfortunately, he landing in jail 4 times prior to his eighteenth birthday. Throughout one of those incarcerations, a Texas Ranger heard Johnny to sing in his cabinet to happen the time, and was impressed with the teenager’s vocal abilities. He put Rodriguez in touch with entertainment executive Happy Shahan, that then to work his new singer in a show at his design template park, Alamo Village. Tom T. Hall happened to capture one of his performances, preferred what he heard, and offered Johnny a job playing etc in his tape The Storytellers. Hall later presented Rodriguez to Mercury brand chief Roy Dea, that signed the immediately. Johnny’s debut record, “Pass Me by (If You’re just Passing Through)” brought him come #9 ideal out that the gate. Hall and also Rodriguez teamed approximately write the next single “You always Come earlier (To Hurting Me)” which became Johnny’s very first #1 hit.

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Johnny created his second #1 hit self while speak in Hall’s touring bus in between shows. “Ridin’ My ignorance To Mexico” was influenced by his youthful experiences in south Texas. The hitch-hiked a lot throughout his travels from town to town and would go down to Mexico sometimes. Rodriguez’s producer in ~ Mercury, Jerry Kennedy, strongly believed that Johnny had ceded a powerful cut that “Ridin’ My thumb To Mexico,” and also it to be shipped come Mercury’s home office in Chicago immediately after the mixing of it had been completed. The agency executives were simply as excited about it as Kennedy was, and the label’s promotions department made decision to push it towards the popular music market. However, the height 40 stations just weren’t that keen on the record, although “Ridin’ My thumb To Mexico” in which method did regulate to with the #70 note on the Billboard hot 100.

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The course, it had no problems cruising into the #1 slot ~ above Billboard’s Hot nation Singles chart October 13, 1973. Two days after ~ the document made the summit, with just three singles under his belt, Johnny Rodriguez was voted one of the five finalists because that the nation Music Association’s “Male Vocalist the the Year” award.