End Of An Era
Passing of Simon 'The Diamond' Molina
Crazy Chuy Hernandez
It's has been a very rough week for those of us in the Tejano Industry, especially those of us in the north Texas area, as we learned of the passing of Simon "The Diamond" Molina, Tejano radio deejay and music promoter. Not since Selena's and Laura Canales' death, have I felt such a deep loss.
Published on LatinoLA: October 23, 2005
Being in the music industry for 42 years, I seen our great Tejano legends pass on to the Heavenly band and radio station where, one day I know all of us will meet again.
As I sit here, I'm transformed back to 1984 and I, had just been hired at KUQQ 1540 AM radio(first 24 hour Tejano Music station). It was a step up in my career in broadcasting coming into a 24 hour Tejano (the term was new as our genre of music was know as Chicano) from working part time at KXCL FM under the guiding hand of Tejano pioneer Johnny Gonzalez-El Zarape Records and Mario Montes.
At KUQQ, I met some great deejay friends whom I work with for the next 20 years. Most notably, Jesse "The Nite Rider" Ortiz (who was my side kick until he got his own time slot at midnite, henceforth The Nite Rider) and Art Magana. Then along comes Simon, who came in with a very positive and likeable attitude (Simon & Victor Mantecon coin my radio name Crazy Chuy & Simon christened my hija La Jammer for she carried a big boom box around in those days) and we were a happy familia for about a year. When the money stop coming into the station, we parted ways, wondering if we would ever see each other again.
As luck would have, in 1985 Simon, Superloop Figueroa, and myself started working together at KNON 89.9FM in Dallas. I left there shortly after to go work for the next the twelve years at KBEC 1390 AM in Waxahachie.
From 1985 - 1996, all of us, Simon (still at KNON alog with Pancho Pistolas), Superloop, Jesse (now at KNTU), commanded the Tejano airways in north Texas. Superloop eventually went to work at KESS 1270am and Simon became a concert promoter and club manage, yet we continue to work together as Simon would buy airtime from all of us to promote his concert events and clubs. He had a big heart and would, on occasion, hire us to MC his events. Some enjoyed the limelite, while yours truly, would rather stay back stage with my family when working the events, yet not ignoring the public when called upon. If there was any jeolousy, you'd never know, for we all worked in harmony together.
Time pass and Simon continued to do his events, Superloop, along with Art Magana (remember him) from KUQQ) worked together at KESS 1270AM, which eventually became KICK. I would work at 1270AM on occasion when el compadre Superloop would go on vacation.
Sadly, all things come to an end. Superloop and Art were let go from KICK to a younger generation, Simon sorta disappeared from the music scene (or so we thought), Jesse, along side Victor Garcai and Art Garcia (no relations) still worked at KNTU. I loss my job at KBEC.
Down, but not out, Superloop went to work at KNON (again) and when he found out I was unemployed, ask me to join him at KNON (Both of us have recieved the North Texas Living Legend Awards). I eventually left in 1999 to begin broadcasting on the internet (a new concept of the day). Kinda hard to play second banana when you've had the taste of working on your own.
Sadly, in 2000, Jesse Ortiz passed away, several years later, Art Magana suffer a heart attack, my compadre Superloop retired due to health problems, and now Simon has passed away.
I'm the only one left from an era when Tejano Music started to make a comeback and reached heights unknown to the Tejano music industry in the mid 90s. I 'd like to think that through our combine efforts, we help shape the Tejano Music World in North Texas. It's the end of an era and I do miss these great icons tremendously from whom I learned the do's and don'ts of the busines and who were a big influencial part of my Tejano broadcasting career for so many, many years.
To Simon "The Diamnd" and Jesse "The Nite Rider, rest in peace mis amigos and one day we shall meet again.
Crazy Chuy Hernandez:
Crazy Chuy Hernandez, producer/host, Chicano Express Radio Program at http://www.chicanoexpress.com.