Tex-Mex Conjunto legend Nick Villarreal passed away on Sunday at the age of 66. Tejano Nation has more.
The accordionist, vocalist, songwriter, and composer of what some call novelty tunes left Tejano and Conjunto fans with plenty of musical memories, having earned recognition for such hits as La I Gotta Go, La Not To Worry, and my personal favorite, El Mayor.
The latter was written soon after the revelations of San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros’ affair. While the general public and media was in shock, Villarreal had a slightly different take. A bit of parody and a lot of realness went into that song. Lines (which I translate) such as, “It happens to presidents, why not a guy from San Antonio,” or semi-defenses, such as “he’s human.” Of course, he still called him the best Mayor SA had at the time.
Much like most of his funny, yet danceable, tunes, they were Puro West Side (of San Antonio). He gave real-life situations and anecdotes a dose of comedy for all to chuckle at, bringing them home with barrio dichos and jargon that only those with a bit of barrio in them could understand. Along with his creative songwriting, he was also an accomplished accordionist who influenced many young performers.
I had the pleasure of watching him in action at a Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio years ago, revving up the crowd with every “A ni ni,” which was just a funny way of saying, “Andale.” Thankfully, we have plenty of albums and live youtube vids to remember him by.
UPDATE: Tejano Nation has an exclusive interview with Nick’s mother.