Spotlight on the Brown
Texas DJ Crazy Chuy Hernandez
As I've said so many times before, music is one of the most artistic achievements of the civilized world.
Published on LatinoLA: November 11, 2004
It is a bridge between the multi-layered chasms of life & society. It crosses age, generational, and geographical barriers. It is a fountain of youth, and one of the better intrinsic tonics one can absorb. It is a reflection of society, and has an educational value you can't put a dollar figure to.
That being said, it has always been my extreme privilige to be able to share and enjoy music with the world at large, on my terms, for a large part of my life. First as a collector and the neighborhood "tape maker", secondly as a mobile DJ, and lastly as an Internet Radio DJ and contributing writer to this fine website.
I say "my terms" because I honestly don't like some kind of music. The kind that either scrapes my eardrums for lack of rhythm or musical cohesiveness, is a marketing fad void of true talent, or the performers have the irritating look of homeless, unbathed drug addicts that expect to get paid for the noise they make, regardless of how ridiculous they appear or sound. No class, no respect, no talent, no heart. At least that's my take on it. Sorry if it pops any bubbles to up & coming rock stars struggling with puberty.
I again reiterate "my terms" because since the inception of my music approach, and the good fortune & benefit of being published on this webpage & other media, I have always claimed to be a die hard, home grown, dark brown, music & dancing loving CHICANO de Aztlan. Educated, hard-working, never-forgot-I-came-from-the-'hood kind of guy with a good lady, good friends and a good familia, complete with drama & problems. I play & promote music I believe Chicanos from my side of the planet want to hear, and I haven't done bad. I've made some great friends, had some great times, enjoy some great music, and I now have a world wide audience. I used to think I was alone in my endeavor....
...but I was mistaken, and fortunately so;
This month's Spotlight on the Brown is on another Chicano Internet DJ. One who's been around a tad more than me, has been a true mentor to a lot of Gente besides me, and is a legend in his part of the planet...and I wish to share this legend with my part.
Introduced to me in the cyber 'hood by Tejano Music Legend Tony "Ham" Guerrero, and by writer and former TejanoView Webmistress MaryAnn "DHOC" Gonzalez, Jesus "Crazy Chuy" Hernandez is another die hard Chicano that has a true shade of Brown in his heart, a love for his Gente, and a love of music that has endeared him to Tejano music fans around the World.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, his career spans more than 40 years as a musician, Tejano music video producer, and radio personality.
In the 1980's, due to legal blindness, his performing and traveling days were cut short. Not one to lay down and die easily, Chuy went into broadcasting and personal appearances, becoming a successful Radio DJ and personality on different radio stations in Texas. Earning the moniker "Crazy Chuy" for his Chicano humor and wild antics on the airwaves, he earned the 1992 Hispanic Broadcaster's Association Most Promising DJ Award. (He laughingly shared with me "...and I still hate that word 'hispanic'...soy CHICANO!")
In 1988, Crazy Chuy presented Selena with her first Female Entertainer of the Year award at the 8th Annual Tejano Music Awards show. In 1998, he was awarded the Tejano Music Connection's Living Legend Award , and in 2003 was inducted into the prestigious Tejano R.O.O.T.S Hall of Fame. Over the years, he has been recognized for his work in the Chicano communities of Texas, raising money for youth scholarships and youth gang intervention programs. He has established his own internet radio station at fittingly named "The Chicano Express", which can be heard daily.
Despite all this success, Chuy remains an approachable and friendly guy. I have not had the distinct pleasure of meeting him face to face, but through e~mails and phone calls, he and I have expanded our Chicano networks, and have become good friends. Like myself, he has committed himself to promoting Chicano music to the World, simply because he can and nothing will stop him. I once asked him about his limitations because of his disability (I was hesitant to use the word blindness), and he responded "What disability, vato? That I'm bald or because I'm chubby?" We had a good laugh at that one, and have shared many since.
A lover of different musical genres, his love of music centers around Tejano. When I asked him why, he reponded "Because it's not for everyone. Tejanos are proud & territorial to a fault, and they love their Onda. We're Chicanos like you guys in Califas, with just a little different seasonings, but with same Brown pride. We love our music, we love to party & dance, and if somebody outside of Texas doesn't like our style, importa madre! We're still gonna party & dance to it our way...and we invite you to check us out".
In comparison to my Texas primo, I too felt I was promoting Chicano music, but in a unique Southern California style. Because of such factors as migration, the military, economics, the ever growing southwestern U.S. Latino population,and the wonder of the Internet, Chicano music is alive & flourishing. Both of our shows are now heard coast to coast and around the World. We have shared our music with each other for broadcast on each other's shows, with a focus on Chicano artists from California and Texas. We share the "It's BROWN thing, baby!" shout out, we share the love of our people, the love of music, the love of Brown women...
.. Que dios quieres, one day we will share each other's company before we hit that big broadcast in the sky!
Gracias, Crazy Chuy! It's Brown thing, carnal! keep it alive forever, ese!
...Si se puede!!
Note: Crazy Chuy's Chicano Express Radio show can be heard 24 hours a day at : www.chicanoexpress.com ~ and let him know you heard it from Frankie Firme!!
Frankie Firme spins the finest Chicano Oldies and Latin Soul music every Thursday at 6:oo pm, pacific time, only on www.kclafm.com, and daily on the Chicano Express.