Frontera Collection ¡En Vivo! / August 18, 2022

Artist Spotlight: Oscar Martínez “El Gallo Copetón”

  Special Interview with Iris Martínez-Simmons  

In this month’s Frontera Collection ¡En Vivo! we talk with Iris Martínez-Simmons, the daughter of Oscar Martínez. El “Gallo Copetón,” as Oscar was lovingly known, was a musician, composer, singer, bandleader, disc jockey, and visual artist from Corpus Christi, Texas. His innate and rare combination of musical talent and business smarts led him to excel in every aspect of his life. He was a natural leader and wrote many great songs that became the soundtrack for a generation of music-loving Tejanos, like “El Tejano Enamorado,” which he wrote and passed on to his good friend Isidro Lopez in 1965. Come and join us as we take a deep dive into the life and music of Oscar Martinez.

En la Colección Frontera de este mes ¡En Vivo! hablamos con Iris Martínez-Simmons, la hija de Oscar Martínez. El “Gallo Copetón”, como cariñosamente se le conocía a Oscar, fue un músico, compositor, cantante, director de orquesta, disc jockey y artista visual de Corpus Christi, Texas. Su combinación innata y rara de talento musical e inteligencia comercial lo llevó a sobresalir en todos los aspectos de su vida. Era un líder natural y escribió muchas canciones geniales que se convirtieron en la banda sonora de una generación de tejanos amantes de la música, como “El tejano enamorado”, que escribió y le pasó a su buen amigo Isidro López en 1965.  Acompañenos  en este viaje de la vida y la música de Oscar Martínez.

When/Cuando: Thursday/Jueves 8/18/22 6-8 pm PST
Where/Donde: Frontera Collection YouTube Channel
Who/Quien: Digitizing Engineer/Ingeniero de digitalización – Juan Antonio Cuellar


Song Title Artist
El Mascatabacco Oscar Martinez
Secreto Oscar Martinez
Oscar’s Special Oscar Martinez
El Barco Chiquito Oscar Martinez
La Viuda Alegre Oscar Martinez
El Tejano Enamorado Isidro Lopez
La Raza Unida Oscar Martinez
La Comadre Oscar Martinez
Los Intocables Oscar Martinez
El Gallo Copeton Oscar Martinez
Let’s Pretend Oscar Martinez
Corpus Christi Oscar Martinez
Gigalo,Impala Oscar Martinez Orchestra
Darling, I’m In Love With You Oscar Martinez Orchestra
Makes No Difference Oscar Martinez
La Lumbre Oscar Martinez
How about those Cowboys? Oscar Martinez
Las Chicanas Oscar Martinez
The Corpus Christi Rose Oscar Martinez


Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.