L-News


TMA honors Domingo Pena

By Chito de la Torre
    He was the Johnny Canales of the early 60's.  And now the Tejano Music Awards
honored Domingo Pena in his hometown of  Corpus Christi.
    According to Sam Zuniga, the historian for the Tejano Music Awards that
handles all of the  organization's hall of Fame inductions, this is the second
time that Pena is being honored by the TMA.
    The first time was at this last Tejano Music Awards.  That's when Pena was
originally inducted into the Hall of Fame under the Lifetime Achievement
category.
    "He gave a lot of artists their start," explained Zuniga about Pena.  "With
his television show, the Domingo Pena Show, he helped artists like Paulino
Bernal."
    The Domingo Pena show ran from 1959 to 1964 and covered Corpus, the Coastal
Bend area and the Rio Grande Valley though the Corpus Christi television
station, KIII, the ABC affiliate.  Not only did his show help promote Tejano
music, it also inspired a host of other television shows like Falfarria Flacon
and even Johnny Canales.
    When the TMA honored the deceassed Pena, none of his immediate relatives
could be found to accept the award on his behalf.  Instead a plaque was given
to Manny "Picante" Garcia, a DJ for Corpus Christi's KBSO, as well as to
KIII-TV.
    After the Tejano Music Awards took place and Manny Garcia began announcing
the fact that Pena had been honored, listeners began calling Garcia to inform
him that they knew where Domingo Pena's daughters lived.  
    One of his daughters was living in Austin, another in California.  When the
sisters heard about the award, they contacted the TMA and asked if they could
"re-issue" the award.
    "I thought it would be a great thing," said Sam Zuniga.  "So I spoke with
Rudy (Trevino, executive director of the TMA) and he said, `sure.' So this
weekend we're going to Corpus to re-issue the award."
    The event took place Friday, June 28, at Kikos Restaurant in Corpus Christi.

(c) L-news, 1996
--30-- (printed with permission)