Friday, December 26, 2014

Nopal Love

Nopal Love

I took a lot of photos this year, but this is my favorite of them all. I was at Rancho El Charco in La Joya, and noticed there was a lot of nopales around in the area. My eyesight isn’t very good yet I still spotted this heart-shaped nopal from a pretty long distance. I didn’t have any camera on me, and my phone is del año del caldo, so the quality of the photo would have been pretty bad. Luckily my friend Jose Luis had a small camera with him, and I asked him to borrow it. I quickly ran up to this area of the rancho, and snapped this photo. Really happy I was able to photograph it, because I may have never been able to find it again.

A Look Back at 2014

Diana De Hoyos . Photo by Elisa De Hoyos.
 As one of the founding members of the Texas Sweethearts, Diana De Hoyos had a great year, full of all types of musical highlights. As a fan, she saw it as a great year of live metal music.

"I saw several metal acts such as Carcass, Origin, Morbid Angel, Pig Destroyer, D.R.I and more," De Hoyos said. "What amazes me about these bands is they have been around for decades yet it does not affect their performance."

Her metal music highlight goes was seeing Dead Horse at Harlingen in May.

"It was an amazing show," De Hoyos said. "There wasn't a huge crowd but the people that were there were obvious Dead Horse fans who sang every lyric to all their songs."

Another great moment for her was performing at the 33rd annual Tejano Conjunto Festival at San Antonio in May, and seeing the Texas Tornados there live.

"It was an amazing experience because of how much Texas Tornados are a part of my life," De Hoyos said. "I grew up on them, listening to my parents sing and play their songs. Now that I'm in a band, our favorite songs to cover are Texas Tornado songs like 'Who Were You Thinking Of' and 'Mentiras'.  So I went from listening to their music as a child to playing their songs in our band to seeing them live."

De Hoyos says that that same day, her and her sister Elisa met Flaco Jimenez.

I asked her what plans she had for 2015.

"Next year I hope to try and make it out to more non-metal shows," De Hoyos said. "I like all kinds of music but I mostly attend metal shows which I would like to change."

She is also part of an instrumental rock band named Verena Serene. She says the band has a lot of new material that will most likely be released in 2015.

Lupe Saenz at the Conjunto of the Year award show.

I caught up with South Texas Conjunto Association president Lupe Saenz, and asked him what were some of his favorite conjunto-related moments of the year. One of them was Lazaro Perez y su conjunto winning at the 16th annual Conjunto of the Year award show at Mercedes in June.

"A young conjunto who is having a big impact on the genre," Saenz said of that group.

Other events that he praised include the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Festival at San Benito in October, and the "Mi Vida, Mi Musica" Pepe Maldonado recognition event that was held recently at La Lomita Park in November.

What does Saenz have planned for 2015?

"We, of course, are looking to the return of most of these events again this year and hopefully a conjunto radio station in the Valley," Saenz said. "We also are hoping to bring back another conjunto music television show like the 'Acordeones de Tejas' TV show we had on KMBH-TV."

Cristina Balli at the NMCAC Conjunto Festival.
Texas Folklife Executive Director Cristina Balli had another year that was full of major events throughout the Lone Star State. The annual "Big Squeeze" statewide accordion contest was now divided into three different categories — Polka (German, Czech and Polish music), Zydeco (Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music) and Conjunto (Norteño, Tejano and Conjunto music).

"It was our biggest yet, each year it keeps growing," Balli said. "In 2014, we had 55 kids, and of those 55, 25 were from the Valley. This contest is dominated by conjunto, so we really wanted to make sure that we had more participation and that we highlighted other genres."

The "Big Squeeze" Finals at Austin in April delivered in a different way, from past years.

"It was nice because we had diversity," Balli said. "The 'Big Squeeze' had been great, but it was all conjunto. It was really nice seeing young people playing the polka music, and then to hear the zydeco music. It is true that diversity makes our lives richer, and it was a much richer experience hearing all these genres of music instead of just one. As much as I love conjunto because that's my thing, I think people enjoyed themselves more."

Other major events that Balli and Texas Folklife were involved in were the 25th annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival at Houston in June, Texas Folklife's 30th Anniversary Celebration at Austin in September, and the inaugural "Festival of Texas Fiddling" at Blanco in December. Also in December, Texas Folklife released a CD titled Traditional Music of Texas, Volume 1: Fiddle Recordings from the Texas Folklife Archives.

"We ended the year with a bang," Balli said of that fiddle festival. "It was a lot of fun. The concept again was to present all the different genres of music in Texas that include the fiddle."

Outside of Texas Folklife, Balli returned to the Rio Grande Valley to MC Day 3 of the NMCAC Conjunto Festival.

Just like we saw changes in 2014, we'll be seeing something new at the 2015 "Big Squeeze" Showcases here in the Valley.

"We are doing live judging," Balli said. "So we'll get the top three, right then and there. It's going to give it a little more excitement."

The 2015 "Big Squeeze" Showcases in the Valley will take place at La Joya High School on February 7, and Los Fresnos High School on date that has yet to be finalized.

Gilberto Perez

Gilberto Perez inside his 'mini-museum' at his home in Mercedes.

Conjunto musician Gilberto Perez lives on a large property on FM 491, in north Mercedes.  It's near Campacuas, where Perez says his mother was originally from. Near the back of that lot, one will find a small house that was modeled after Perez's childhood home. His son used to stay there, but when he moved out Perez transformed it into a mini-museum that celebrated his career in music.

I passed a bench that reads "Made By Ruben Vela" to arrive at the door. Before I entered, I asked him how he was doing.

"Hay andamos (Here we are)," replied Gilberto Perez with a smile. "Taking it one day at a time."

He had just finished checking one of his cars before I arrived. He was eager to show me what was behind that door. His career retrospective began once he opened it.

Gilberto Perez was born in Mercedes, TX, Mile 8 to be exact, on August 3, 1935. Perez's mother gave birth with the help of a partera (midwife). He was the 12th child in the family.

"El mas chico de toda la familia (The youngest of the whole family)," Perez said.

Perez would go on to spend most of his life in the town he was born in. His trips out of the Rio Grande Valley were reserved for work in the fields, or in front of an audience.

He did sharecropping in Mississippi, and worked alongside his father, who supported the family through farming. Some of the tools that Perez's father used in those days are displayed in a small backroom. He explains that while he did his fair share of work as a child, his brothers did much more, and had it far tougher growing up.

The first thing one will probably lay their eyes on when they enter his house of memorabilia is a Hohner, 2-row, button diatonic accordion that the family first acquired in 1939. It used to belong to Perez's older brother Mike.

"He would always, en la tardes cuando llegeba del trabajo (in the afternoon when he would arrive home from work), play and friends came over with a guitar. They used to play the old music. The backbone music from Narciso Martinez and Pedro Ayala. Those guys, the pioneers."

When it comes to music, Perez was influenced by his brothers, those two pioneers, Valerio Longoria, Tony De La Rosa, and Ruben Vela. Eventually Perez started playing music, just like his hermanos.

"My dad, at the time, would lay down on the floor, when I started picking the guitar," Perez said. "He would listen to me play, and he would tell todos mis hermanos (all my brothers), 'Chiquito, el le va sacar un pie adelante a todos.' That I was going to become (a better musician) than them. I never believed it (laughs). I said, 'Nah no way.'"

At 15 years old, Perez was finally able to play the squeezebox on a consistent basis. A neighbor of his named Jose Garza would often lend his accordion to him.

"He wanted to learn, and I was a little faster learner than him," Perez said. "So if we heard something on the radio, and I found out how it went, he'd go, 'Now you show me.' That's the way I would get to play an accordion (then)."

In the early 1950's, Perez performed locally with his brother Alejandro, and Raul Castaneda. Collectively they were known as Los Cardenales. A photo that captures that brief moment in time is framed near the door at his archive.

In 1956, Perez got married with Amelia Barroso, and the two would go on to have four children. The two daughters are named Delia Perez Aguilar and Gloria Perez Dunn, while the two sons go by Gilberto Perez Jr. and Javier Perez.

Perez received his first big break when he was invited to join Ruben Vela y su conjunto in 1958.

"When I joined Ruben Vela, I was trying to play a little bit of rock here in Mercedes," Perez said. "It was called the Red Rockers. I met Ruben Vela when he started. He called me because my brother Alejandro played for him, the bajo-sexto. Ruben asked if I wanted to join to play the bass and sing. Ruben didn't sing, he didn't know how to sing at the time. So me and Ramon Medina, the bajo-sexto player, were the ones that teached him how to sing from the little bit that we knew at the time (laughs). He got to be a pretty good singer, and he was one of the best accordion players. His music still lingers and it will linger on forever, I think."

Vela, Perez and Medina recorded a few tunes together, like "Vida de Vago" and "La Noche Que Llore" for Falcón Records. The brief musical collaboration they shared is kept alive by a street in Mercedes named "Ruben Vela & Gilberto Perez Ave".

"The committee asked me if it was okay to put his name there (with mine as the street name)," Perez said. "I said, 'Yes, he's my friend, one of my best, and he's still my idol.'"

Perez and Medina split from Vela and launched their own conjunto in 1959.  At Falcón Records, Perez and Medina recorded "El Dia De Tu Boda" on November 1959. Composed by Medina, the original plan for who was to play which instruments was scrapped at the studio.

Originally, Medina was scheduled to be on the accordion, while Perez took care of the bajo-sexto. As they were there practicing, Medina struggled with a few notes, so he asked Perez to show him the opening run again. Perez grabbed the box, went through the notes, when Falcón founder Arnaldo Ramirez walked in. After observing the two, Ramirez decided that Perez would be on the accordion, and Medina would handle the bajo-sexto.

"We practiced the other way around," Perez said. "(Ramirez said,) 'I don't care, you're going to play it like that.' So, the boss era el que mandaba (was the one who called the shots) (laughs). We couldn't even talk back to him, so we were like, 'Okay sir, we'll do it like that.'"

That song was a huge hit for Perez and Medina. I first heard about this tune from my father, Felix Martinez, who told me it was popular among the migrant workers he worked with at the time of its release.

"Ibamos a piscar algodon, y el troquero tenia un radio (We went to go pick cotton, and the trucker would have a radio)," Felix Martinez said. "Las muchachas jovenes, todo el dia estaban cantando la cancion (The young women would be singing 'El Dia De Tu Boda' all day long)."

Perez and his conjunto were invited back to record more songs for Falcón Records. During that era, Perez recorded "Por Qué Dios Mio", "Con Cartitas", "Aguanta Corazon", "Mi Ultima Parranda" and "Para Llorar Por Ti".

"A lot of those songs sold pretty good at the time," Perez said. He later pointed to a plaque that was given to him by Falcón Records, as a token for his success. It looked like a beautiful artifact from several centuries ago.

He is quick to tell me that his exitos (hits) wouldn't have been possible without the composers that helped him along the way — his brother Alejandro, Medina, Matias Peña, Juan Jose Lucas, Horacio Chapa, Efrain Solis and so many others, including some from Mexico. Photos of some of these men are framed throughout his place.

Deciding on who would play what wasn't the only thing that Ramirez had a role in. The name that the conjunto would be known for then, and still in 2014, was ultimately decided by him.

Perez, Medina, Alejandro, and Cruz Gonzalez would constantly be referring to one another as compadre when they were together. Ramirez took note of that and surprised Perez one day.

"So then the record came out, 'Gilberto Perez y sus compadres'. I said, 'Okay'," laughs Perez.

Perez performed around South Texas in the early 1960's, then went beyond the area in 1962. That year he toured Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio for the very first time. He would take tours that would last anywhere from 4 to 7 weeks.

Even though he was performing outside of Texas, the people who attended his shows were still usually Tejanos.

"At the time, había campos de gente (there were camps of people), migrant people," Perez said. "Mostly Tejanos from aqui de Tejas (here in Texas). They used to migrate up north everywhere. They had camps for all the people to live there. (To promote) they would make flyers and spread them in los campos, or by telephone, whichever way. We made it, thank God."

The only state he never got to perform in within the Continental United States was New Mexico.

After Falcón, he jumped to Ideal Records, Chico Records, and then formed Nuevo Records with Alejandro in 1968. A studio was built at his home in the 1970's that he named Nuevo Recording Studio. It was in operation until Hurricane Dolly in 2008.

"I shut it down because there was a lot of studios around," Perez said. "I didn't have business, ya. As far as my own personal use, it wasn't worth having another light bill, phone bill, and stuff."

An old 8-track recorder that he used for his studio is lying around on a shelf.

Although his studio is gone, he still does digital recordings in a small room he dubbed "La Cuevita". Other labels that released his music include JB Records, Discos RyN, Reloj Records, Freddie Records, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and Hacienda Records.

Now in 2014, there are two simultaneous conjuntos run by Perez and his son Gilberto Jr. The members of both ensembles include Perez (accordion), Gilberto Jr. (bajo-sexto), Cande Aguilar Sr. (bass), Juan Antonio Tapia (accordion), Rene Luna (drummer), and Aldo Solis (bass).

Cande Aguilar Jr. performed with Perez during the 1980's. His father is currently the longest lasting member in the conjunto, other than Perez himself. Perez showed me a wall full of photos of when his ahijado (Godson) shared the stage with him.

"My padrino (Godfather) threw me in the front, gave me the opportunity to invade his time and spotlight,” Cande Aguilar Jr. said. “Nombre I just can’t be more grateful, I keep going back to it. He (gave) me the opportunity to come out in the shows when he was there. That counts for a lot."

Gilberto Perez, Cande Aguilar Jr. and Narciso Martinez.

The most popular song that Perez has recorded in the past five years is "Mi Ultimo Deseo". It was a deeply personal subject for Perez, one that he wasn't sure about at first. It's about a man coming to the end of his life, and telling his loved ones his final wishes.

"I didn't like it at the time, because I'm not ready to die," Perez said, laughing. "Then I started thinking, 'Why not say what I want, before I pass away? So that my family and friends would know what I want?' So (Horacio Chapa) gave me tres versos (three verses), and then I wrote six versos, so I finished it up. That's how it happened."

As Perez was giving me a tour, he was wearing a cap of the South Texas Conjunto Association, the organization that has championed his career for the past 16 years. STCA president Lupe Saenz is a close confidant of Perez.

"Gilberto Perez is an icon in conjunto that has earned the title, 'The Legend from Mercedes'," Saenz said. "Even today,  Gilberto is in the studio still producing and recording new conjunto songs and polkas. I asked him about how long he will continue to play, perform and record new material, his reply, 'Hasta que Dios me permita!' ('Until God lets me!') He is one of a few of that conjunto generation that still continues to contribute to conjunto. His legacy is still being added to conjunto life. We hope his health allows to do this for still many more years."

Perez describes his current physical condition as being "not too great". In November 2003, he had open-heart surgery, which limited his appearances outside of South Texas. Although he receives offers to perform outside of Texas, he feels it's best for him and his health to just play aqui en el valle.

His most recent gig saw him perform at the legendary La Villita venue in San Benito on December 20. The event served as a birthday celebration for Gilberto Jr., Cande Sr., and Solis. Cande Jr. made a rare appearance to perform for the occasion.

Gilberto Perez y sus compadres on December 20, 2014. Photo by Jorge L. Guerra. 

At this point in time, he has over fifty releases to his name, countless miles on his odometer, and one of the most passionate fan-bases found in the conjunto music genre. At 79 years old, he has no plans on closing the door on his legendary career.

"I'm very proud of him," Gilberto Jr. said of his father. "He sings some songs muy tristes (very sad). Miras gente enfrente de el (You see people in front of him), just staring at him. You can see hundreds of eyes and you see a whole bunch of them just crying. Transmite su (He transmits his) voice to the people. That's an awesome feeling cuando miro eso (when I see that). Hasta ahorita, todavia lo hace (Even today he still does it and has that effect). It's still the same as cuando yo entre con el (when I joined him and his band)."

Perez outside his mini-museum.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Attention - RGV

There is a very important trial coming up here in the Rio Grande Valley in regards to police violence. From a May 18, 2014 article in “The Monitor” by Ildefonso Ortiz:

"A local attorney has sued the city of Pharr, its police department, the chief and an officer on behalf of a teenage girl, claiming they covered up her sexual assault by a police officer.

Richard Alamia is representing the victim — identified in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe — who is not yet 18 years old. Alamia filed the lawsuit earlier this week, claiming that Officer Erasmo Mata sexually assaulted the female teenager during work hours five times from July through October [of 2013]. Mata and other officers would take the victim to abandoned houses throughout the city, according to the lawsuit.

'Other Pharr police officers would stand watch while the sexual assault was being committed on Jane Doe,' Alamia said in the lawsuit.”


Below is a list of some quick details to know about the upcoming trial:

Lawyer representing the plaintiff: Richard Alamia.
Defendant: Erasmo Mata Jr.
Judge: Letty Lopez.
Location: 389th State District Court in Edinburg.
Pre-Trial Date: January 8th (Thursday) at 9 AM.
Trial Date: January 12th (Monday) at 9 AM.
Court Case Number: cr-2488-14-h

There are more details to this case, this is just a quick primer. For more information on this case:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Yerberia in Pharr

There was a unique looking yerberia next to the recycling center, on old 83 in Pharr that was recently torn down. After I saw it was gone, I instantly regretted that I never took a photograph of it. That led me wanting to go around town, and shoot photos of the buildings that surround us. This is a yerberia on the west side of Pharr that is still up and running. At some point in the future, some of these buildings may not be around any longer. I think it's important that we try to capture some of these images, not just for ourselves, but also for future generations, so they can see the surroundings we lived in.

Friday, December 5, 2014

La Reynera Bakery and Tortillas in Pharr, TX.

Hargill's Casey Cantu to be inducted into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame‏

Hargill's Casey Cantu is excited about his upcoming induction into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame in Alice, TX on January 3. His enshrinement into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame would have never happened if it wasn't for a different kind of roots.

"Cuando 'taba chiquito, there was un viejito there in Hargill," ("When I was small, there was an old man there in Hargill,") Cantu, 67, begins.

The old man used to sell "árboles de naranjo" to Cantu for 50¢. Cantu would dig down to its roots, pull the trees out, and place them in a burlap sacks.

"I would go around Edinburg, McAllen, Mission, and sell them on the weekends for a $1.00, $1.25."

Cantu saved the profits, hoping to buy his first guitar. He was already deep into his obsession with music. As a young boy, he would regularly listen to Tejano and conjunto music thanks to his parents. But as he got older, country music and the blues caught his ear tambien.

"I always loved music," Cantu said. "We used to travel pa' norte a los trabajos (up north to work). We used to listen to a lot of country music over there. En la noche (At night) I would listen to the Grand Ole Opry from WSM (650AM) in Nashville."

When he entered his teenage years, he had just enough to buy his first instrument.

"Desas que había (Those that were around) back in the day," Cantu said, about the guitar he secured from the now defunct Silverstone company. "So that's how I started getting into the music."

Cantu began teaching himself, and soon entered several local talent shows. He performed original songs, some protesting injustices that were occurring around the world; others were closer to poetry, observing the environment around him.

When he walked on to the stage with his guitar, he had a harmonica hanging around his neck, "en el estilo de (in the style of) Bob Dylan", Cantu describes.

"I won first place, twice, at the 'Hargill Talent Show', if you want to call it that," Cantu said.

In 1973, Cantu, with Blas Castaneda, Pablo Cavazos and Reuben Rodriguez by his side, launched The Tumbleweed Band. Cantu was on the vocals, and took care of the bass guitar, arrangements, and composing. Castaneda was on guitar and vocals, Cavazos on the drums, and Rodriguez on lead guitar, and steel guitar. James DeBerry joined them shortly thereafter with his fiddle.

The Tumbleweed Band had their first gig at Shakey's Pizza in Harlingen that same year. The band introduced a distinct blend of Country and Tejano music. Word spread about their unique style, and the gang soon found themselves on KRGV's "El Valle Alegre Show" with Mike Cantu. Local conjunto musician, promoter, and producer Pepe Maldonado took notice and asked them to record for his Comanchero Records label. There they recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Spanish Pipe Dream".

Later on, Maldonado played the accordion for the group on occasion.

Cantu would then create his own label that he dubbed Crazy Hat Records in 1976. He released "The Bottle Let Me Down" and "Pack Up Your Sorrows" under that umbrella. The ensemble then recorded several releases for Falcón Records, and made an appearance on the "Fanfarria Falcón" TV show.

"We got well known, all over the country and Mexico," Cantu said, crediting Falcón for the popularity that followed. "That's when we started traveling."

As the decade was closing, the Tejano-Country outfit was traveling throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

In 1980, The Tumbleweed Band signed with Hacienda Records, out of Corpus Christi. They recorded three albums there — The Tumbleweed Band (1980), Wanted (1981), and Hear To Stay (1982).

"And that got even bigger," Cantu said. "We started getting nominated in a lot of award programs, Tejano awards."

The biggest hit from these releases was "Haste Pa'ca y Dame Tu Amor", a cover that was originally composed in English by Don Williams.

"Pego porque (It was a hit because) we played it, pero Cali Carranza also recorded it," Cantu said. "He recorded it in a cumbia style. He was playing it, and we were playing it. So we were two different versions of the song. So it got double air-play. I think that's one of the reasons. And el estilo que tenia la cancion (the style the song had) because it had a country beat, pero tambien era Tejana (but it was also Tejano)."

The group would ultimately disband in 1998.

"We started getting old," Cantu laughed.

In a scrap book that Cantu showed me, he revealed the different people who supported his induction into the Tejano Roots Hall of Fame. One of those individuals was Tejano icon Roberto Pulido.

"This is to verify that I've known Casey Cantu since he started The Tumbleweed Band back in the 70's," begins Pulido, in a letter he wrote to The Tejano Roots Hall of Fame committee. "They were one of the bands, along with Country Roland, that influenced me to also do some Tejano Country recordings. We played various gigs together and the crowds of people in the dance halls really got into their music."

Cantu received word a month ago that it was official, and he was set to recognized as a Hall of Famer on the first weekend of 2015.

"One of the reasons I got to be in the Hall of Fame is because they say I was an innovator," Cantu said. "That I started a new type of music (style). Because people would play country, and people would play Tejano, conjunto. But I fused them together. So we exposed a lot of country people to the conjunto style."

Cantu is eager about the weekend, but also admits that he is a little nervous about his speech. He plans to put the finishing touches on it during the final week of 2014. With this exciting event coming up, it's only natural for Cantu to reminisce about where he first developed his love of music.

"My dad was always singing," Cantu remembers. "Ibamos al trabajo en la mañana (We would go to work in the morning), and he would always be singing en la labor (in the fields), you know, pa' que se pase el tiempo (so the time would pass by quickly). So I would join in, to harmonize with him. So if I had to name somebody (that inspired me), it would have to be my father."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Smitty's Juke Box Museum

Smitty's Juke Box Museum in Pharr (116 W. State St.) has been closed for a while, and now it's up for lease. All the classic juke boxes are still inside.

RIP Don Shelton

Photo and Text from Puro Tejano TV’s Facebook page

"Former Selena y Los Dinos band member Don Shelton passed away Tuesday [December 2, 2014] from Cancer at the age of 47. Don was a backup singer & dancer for Los Dinos back in the 80’s. At one point he left the band but returned with Selena y Los Dinos a few years later and continued with them until Selena’s death in 1995. We at Puro Tejano TV extend our deepest condolences to his family. 

RIP Don Shelton.”

Selena and Don together:

QEPD Jesus "Chuy" De Leon

Just heard some sad news that Jesus “Chuy” De Leon passed away today. He was 90 years old.

De Leon caught his big break when he got the attention of Martin Rosales in 1955.

"At that time, Martin Rosales started working at KGBT as the program director, and he heard about my dad," Juan De Leon, his son, said. "The (KRGV) show (that De Leon was hosting) was getting a bit popular so he offered my dad a show at KGBT and my dad took it at 4 o’clock in the morning. That’s where Martin coined the name ‘El Gallito Madrugador’ (The Early Morning Roster)."

De Leon had a long career in radio broadcasting, spanning from the 1940’s to the late 1980’s. He not only worked at KRGV (Weslaco) and KGBT (Harlingen), but also found work at KXEX (Fresno, California), KIRT (Mission), KSOX (Raymondville) and KIWW (McAllen).

I met De Leon once at the San Juan Nursing Home, thanks to Lupe Saenz. Saenz also provided me with this video he shot and edited. QEPD, he will be missed.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Texas Theater

Today I took this photo of the old Texas Theater (115 E. Park Ave) in Pharr. Here is a neat history piece on this venue.