Joe Mejia – Legendary musician and composer of famous songs: “Te Traigo Estas Flores”, “Mirada que Fascina”, “Tu tienes Que vivir Conmigo”, and many others. Recipient of awards: Tejano Music Awards Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, Tejano Academy of Recording artists Legacy Award and Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame.
A prolific songwriter of his genre, Mejia has a repertoire that exceeds 60 published BMI songs, music in Latin American Cinema, TV and countless Tejano, Latin American and Spanish artists still recording his songs today. He is regarded as a local pioneer songwriter who rose to prominence with compositions emphasizing on themes of universal nature, heard worldwide impacting the Latin music industry while providing significant evolution for the Tejano music industry.
Joe Mejia, a native of Robstown, Texas began his interest in music at age 18 as a curious youngster observing local and out of town conjunto bands.
After befriending Pepe Jaramillo, a distinguished musician who took Joe under his wing for bajo sexto and guitar lessons, Mejia was provided with his first introduction to music. Also on the scene, were well known acts like Chano Cadena and Conjunto Bernal who provided him additional music tips and musical chords to augment his learning ability.
After purchasing his first bass guitar from a Lubbock, Texas pawn shop, while on tour -Mejia shortly after, in 1961, moved to Corpus Christi, Texas and turned professional by becoming a member of Julian Garcia y Los Nacionales. However, after a short stint with Los Nacionales, Joe’s big break occurred in April 1962 when accordion legend Tony De La Rosa invited him to form part of his group as a bass player which culminated in a 5-year tenure that would amount to extensive touring all over the U.S. up until 1967.
In that same year of 1967, Joe welcomed the arrival of his first child, a son and decided not to play out of town and locally only by joining pioneer Tejano orchestra leader and re-known musician, Oscar Martinez of “El Tejano Enamorado” fame who coincidentally became Joe’s compadre with the baptism of his newborn child that year.
After a two-year period with Oscar, Joe decided to join at the time, the lesser-known Freddie Martinez orchestra in Oct of 1969.
Mejia came to the orchestra with new ideas, arrangements, and a string of hit songs written by him – also modernizing the rhythm and horn section becoming a huge creative force for the orchestra and becoming the architect of the Orchestra’s new sound. The difference was noticed by the public immediately.
Joe sang duets with Freddie and as quoted by orchestra leader, Gaston Ponce Castellanos: Joe Mejia was “La segunda voz de Freddie Martinez.”
With Mejia’s hit songs and arrangements, the Freddie Martinez Orchestra was able to achieve success.
In mid 1970, with the release of the album ‘Te Traigo estas Flores”, Joe’s most famed inspiration based on giving his beloved a bouquet of flowers, the orchestra was catapulted to fame with album sales and orchestra engagements that were astronomical. According to Texas Monthly writer Joe Nick Patoski, “The album that the song appeared on broke the one-hundred-thousand sales barrier, the first Tejano record to do so”!
Other songs of Joe’s besides “Te traigo estas Flores” that attracted international attention were: “Mirada que Fascina”, “Tu tienes que vivir Conmigo”, “Una Paloma Blanca”, “Las Palomas”, “Donde estas”, “Dame tu Amor”, “Lindo Carinito”, “Adios Amada Mia”, “El Amor Que Te Doy”, “Con Carino” and others thus paving the future for other Tejano songwriters.
His songs have been featured in films. One such as “La Marchanta” featuring Mexico’s Lucha Villa. Yolanda del Rio has also performed his songs on the big screen.”‘Te traigo estas Flores” was also featured on an episode of the popular novela “Maria la del Barrio” with superstar Thalia.
In 1972, Mejia left the Freddie Martinez’ orchestra to form his own group titled the Joe Mejia orchestra and recorded two albums for Sonido Internacional records, a label that also featured Angelica Maria as a recording artist and toured for 2 years in Texas and throughout the U.S. as a solo sensation.
One of the orchestra’s last performances included an invitation to the ‘Festival de la Cancion Hispana’ at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in L.A. With a need to be near his family, that now included a daughter, Mejia decided to stop touring.
In closing, Mejia would like to convey a special thanks and gratitude to the public, the media, Tv, radio, newspapers for the overall acceptance of his music over the years. Viva Tejano Music!
Biography provided by: Lorena Mejia – Daughter of Joe Mejia